Sunday, 22 May, 2022


Aishwarya questioned by ED in Panama Papers case

Entertainment Desk |
Update: 2021-12-20 16:19:17
Aishwarya questioned by ED in Panama Papers case [photo collected]

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe into the Panama Papers expose, which showed that several prominent personalities in India had floated companies in tax havens.

Rai was summoned to appear before the Investigating Officer in Delhi on Monday. Sources said she is being questioned over FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) allegations and not money laundering.

Rai was one of several prominent personalities named in The Indian Express-ICIJ 2016 Panama Papers expose. The summons from the ED is the first indication that agencies are actively pursuing the case against the Bachchans who, records indicate, floated an offshore entity, Amic Partners Limited, in the British Virgin Islands in 2005.

Also Read |From director to shareholder: ‘Shorten name from Aishwarya Rai to A Rai for confidentiality’
Senior officials told The Indian Express that Rai, 48, had been sent summons two times previously but had sought more time.

The papers regarding the Bachchans were part of records maintained by Mossack Fonseca (MF), a Panamanian firm that helped set up offshore entities. These showed that for at least three years, Rai and her family were part of Amic Partners.

The Indian Express accessed MF documents which showed that Rai, her father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Rai, mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai, and brother Aditya Rai were appointed on May 14, 2005, as directors of Amic Partners – with an initial authorised capital of $50,000.

On June 18, 2005, an Amic board resolution changed Rai’s status to shareholder. And on July 5, 2005, internal instructions exchanged between MF staff stated: “One of the shareholders requested to shorten her name from Ms Ashwaria Rai (sic) to Ms A Rai for reasons of confidentiality. The same was mutually agreed and consented by all directors and shareholders.”

In 2008, a year after Rai married Abhishekh Bachchan, the process to wind up the company was initiated, show records.

MF records show that when the company was set up, each share had a par value of $1 with the Certificate of Incumbency stating that the four directors had an identical holding of 12,500 shares each.

Source: The Indian Express

BDST: 1616 HRS, DEC 20, 2021

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