New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2018 1:56:59 am
ON APRIL 5, 2016, The Indian Express reported that businessman Anurag Kejriwal, former Delhi chief of Lok Satta Party, and his wife Uttara Kejriwal were linked to four BVI companies and two Panama foundations. New data reveals that less than a month later, on May 3, Kejriwal’s BVI firms figured on the list of 69 companies, mostly set up by Indians, that was sent by BVI’s FIA to MF for details.
On January 9, this year, the Swiss Federal Tax Authority issued a gazette notification asking Kejriwal for a disclosure on the Swiss bank accounts he may have opened – and giving him 10 days to appoint a representative.
But the latest Panama data does not contain details of any such account. Instead, the new documents show that Kejriwal was introduced to Mossack Fonseca by officers in the trade finance department of BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA. It also reveals that the intermediary company for his BVI entities was MFT Services SA, Geneva.
Fresh email exchanges between Mossack employees reveal how Kejriwal’s “societies” were named in the Panama Papers. The latest data also shows that while Mossack sent Kejriwal its first resignation threat as registered agent in May 2016, requests for pending due diligence documents and to identify the beneficial owners of the BVI entities continued to pour in. Later that month, email exchanges identify Kejriwal as the beneficial owner of the companies and Foundations.
Mossack records show that Kejriwal and his wife set up their first company in the BVI in 2007. In 2008 and 2010, they restructured their assets and established two Foundations in Panama of which they, and their son, were beneficiaries.
Through The Nedstar Foundation, they owned Nedstar Commercial Ltd and Newington Group Trading Ltd, both based in the BVI. Newington’s activity was listed as trade in iron ore. Through The Pruak Foundation, they owned Biscay Overseas Ltd — later renamed Biscay Exports Ltd — and Krims Investments Inc, also based in the BVI. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Mossack Fonseca received documents related to legal proceedings against Kejriwal’s firms — the firms and Foundations later became inoperational.
The Lok Satta Party was founded in 2006 by Jayaprakash Narayan, a former IAS officer. Kejriwal led the party’s unit in Delhi but was expelled following a purported sting operation by a TV channel ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Anurag Kejriwal did not respond to emails and text messages sent by The Indian Express. Responding to queries on his offshore links in April 2016, he had said that “these entities were closed down by 2010”.
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