Finance Ministry announced on Monday that cases pertaining to the ‘Pandora Papers’ would be investigated. A multi-agency group headed by the tax department chairman will start the probe. The Group would have representation from CBDT, ED, RBI and the Financial Intelligence Unit.
“The Government has taken note of these developments. The relevant investigative agencies would undertake an investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law,” the Finance Ministry stated.
The government further stated that it would engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining relevant information on the alleged taxpayers and entities. It added that it is part of an Inter-Governmental Group which collaborates to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks.
In a press release, the finance ministry added that it has recovered close to Rs 20,352 crore through probes after the Panama and Paradise Paper leaks.
Spearheaded by the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) , the Pandora Papers investigation listed owners of offshore companies, incognito bank accounts, private jets, yachts, mansions and expensive artworks, which ICIJ claims is, "providing more information than what’s usually available to law enforcement agencies and cash-strapped governments."
The recent leak included names of celebs such as pop star Shakira and Indian cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar, among others.
The Pandora leaks open the lid on people and entities allegedly using offshore shelters amount to shifting profits from the sources which are high tax countries to companies that exist only on paper in low-tax jurisdictions. “Using offshore shelters is especially controversial for political figures, because they can be used to keep politically unpopular or even illicit activities from public view”, ICIJ informs