Multi-agency group led by CBDT chief to monitor probe into Pandora Papers cases

By: |
October 05, 2021 5:45 AM

The Government of India is part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks, it said.

pandora paper casesThe probe will be monitored through a multi-agency group, headed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman, with representatives from CBDT, enforcement directorate, the Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit, the finance ministry said in a statement (Express Photo)

The government on Monday ordered an investigation of cases pertaining to the ‘Pandora Papers’, the latest leak of offshore financial records. The probe will be monitored through a multi-agency group, headed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman, with representatives from CBDT, enforcement directorate, the Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit, the finance ministry said in a statement.

On October 3, the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) came out with what is claimed to be a 2.94 terabyte data trove that exposes the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories, including India. The investigation is based on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that provide professional services to wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low or no-tax jurisdictions.

A one-year investigation of data linked to India by The Indian Express revealed how Indian individuals and businesses, many already under the scanner, are pushing the envelope to evade detection, using loopholes in the law at home and the lax jurisdiction of tax havens.

“The Government has taken note of these developments. The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law. With a view to ensure effective investigation in these cases, the Government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/ entities,” the ministry said.

The Government of India is part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks, it said.

Following similar earlier leaks in the form of ICIJ, HSBC, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, the government had enacted the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, to curb black money, or undisclosed foreign assets and income by imposing suitable tax and penalty on such income.

“Undisclosed credits of Rs 20,352 crore approximately (status as on 15.09.2021) have been detected in the investigations carried out in the Panama and Paradise Papers,” the ministry said.

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