Last year controversy erupted when several Bollywood actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Ajay Devgn were named in the Panama Papers scandal. For those of you who don’t know, Panama Papers was a stockpile of records from Panamanian legal firm – Mossack Fonseca that revealed names of several world leaders and celebrities who had allegedly stashed away money in offshore companies. Ever since the names came out, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India has been investigating the case. The department had sent notices to the stars and asked them to appear in front of them with a reply. While they had shared their reply earlier, Aishwarya and Amitabh submitted all the documents of their financial dealings to the ED today.
According to multiple reports, the Bachchans submitted the documents through their representative lawyers. While they were summoned for a speedy inquiry, Aishwarya and Amitabh decided to send their representatives. But the ED still wants the actors to appear before them and face an investigation, rather than sending representatives. They will soon be issuing summons, but the exact dates have not been revealed.
As a source revealed to India Today, “In a phase-wise manner, concerned individuals and entities are being summoned and statements have been recorded. In the next phase, another set of names would be summoned. It could include film stars as well, whose names and addresses were found to be part of the leaked data of 2,10,000 offshore companies incorporated by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.” (ALSO READ – Amitabh Bachchan OPENS up on Panama Papers controversy – read statement!)
The ED had asked the Bachchans to explain their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. Post that they asked them to reply to notices issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). As the source added, “The replies have been received. They could be soon summoned as part of the probe.”
Amitabh Bachchan has denied any involvement in the case earlier too. And while the Panama Papers alleged that he was the chairman of at least four offshore shipping companies, which were registered in 1993 in the tax havens, he said that he did not know anything about Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd and Tramp Shipping Ltd — the companies in question. He has claimed that his name was being misused and that he had paid all his taxes. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was also said to be part of a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, but she has denied involvement too. (ALSO READ – All you need to know about the Panama Papers where Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s names are roped in!)
Ajay Devgn, on the other hand, had allegedly bought a thousand shares of Marylebone Entertainment Ltd, a British Virgin Islands company incorporated in 2013. The shares were bought in the name of Nysa Yug Entertainment, which he owns with wife, Kajol. Ajay Devgn admitted to being the owner of the account but claimed to have made the appropriate disclosures while filing his returns. Anyway, stay tuned to BollywoodLife as we get you all the details about the Panama Papers Case right here…
(With inputs from agencies)