The wealthy of the world are facing yet another leak. This one is called the Paradise Paper leaks and comes more than a year after the Panama Paper leak. This one is also expected to give the affluent around the globe heartburn with over 13.4 million leaked files. It promises to be a bigger data leak of how the moneyed evade taxes through offshore accounts.
The data brought forward has been primarily derived from two firms, Appleby, a Bermuda based 119-year-old company and a leading member of the global network of lawyers, accountants, bankers and other operatives and Singapore-based Asiaciti.
While the papers name several known global names, it also points at 714 Indian names. India is ranked 19th among the list of 180 countries. Some of the Indian names included in the list are Nand Lal Khemka, The Sun group founder, former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader Sachin Pilot, and P Chidambaram's son Karti, MoS Jayant Sinha, Dr Ashok Seth, the chairman of Fortis-Escorts, actor Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata, corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, and liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Prominent Indian corporates in Appleby database include Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, GMR Group, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and DS Construction.The function of these firms were to maintain off-shore entities for the rich and wealthy by avoiding or evading taxes; manage real estate assets; open escrow accounts; purchase airplanes and yachts paying low tax rates; or, simply, use offshore vehicles to move millions across the globe. Though not wholly illegal, they do push tax laws for the benefit of the wealthy.