Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai were but two amongst 500 Indian names in the leaked documents that implicated tax evasion.
Other than the A-list Bollywood stars, Indian industrialists and politicians are also on the client list of law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which helps people set up offshore companies in different tax havens around the world. Politicians such as Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejrival, the former chief of the Delhi Loksatta Party have also been named in the list of people that have assets in the tax haven of Panama.
The report was released by Indian daily, The Indian Express, in which the leaked documents revealed that Aishwarya Rai was listed as a partner, and later, shareholder in British Virgin Island firm Amic Partners Limited. The report, spanning 40 years, also reveals that the firm was dissolved in 2008.
Amitabh Bachchan is listed in the reports as director of four shipping firms in BVI, Bahamas, the capital of which ranged from $5000-50000.
While Indians were allowed to remit up to $25,000 a year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, many of the accounts the report, however, were set up long before the remittance norms were liberalised.
This report has come out at a time when the Indian government is cracking down on black money and soon after the government’s “compliance scheme” for declarations of offshore assets and accounts ended on September 30, 2015.