Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was interviewed by the Directorate of Execution in connection with its investigation into the 2016 Panama Papers exhibits published by Indian express in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which has shown that several prominent figures in India have launched companies in tax havens.
It is learned that Rai has also been questioned about her trips abroad since Panama Papers records show that she, along with members of her family, attended a board meeting of an island company. British Virgins (BVI), Amic Partners Limited in Dubai in June. 2005, year of incorporation of the company. She is also questioned about a large deposit made to a foreign bank account of her husband, Abhishek Bachchan, using the Liberalized Remittance System (LRS).
It is understood that Rai denied any knowledge of the BVI company and told ED investigators that it was his father, the late Krishna Raj Rai, who handled all of his financial matters.
Significantly, officials said that a key document from Amic Partners Limited, released by The Indian Express as part of the Panama Papers exhibition in 2016, has now been obtained and independently verified by authorities in the United States. BVI.
Incidentally, Amic Partners Limited’s documents included those of his service certificate; Company resolutions and minutes of its Board of Directors meeting. The minutes are signed by Rai and the other members of his family. The minutes also reveal that the Dubai branch of ABN AMRO bank would be appointed as the investment manager for the Rai family offshore entity.
Rai was subpoenaed to appear before the investigator in Delhi on Monday. Sources said she was being questioned about Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) allegations, not money laundering.
Rai was one of the several eminent personalities named in Indian express-ICIJ 2016 Panama Papers exhibits. The convocation of the ED is the first indication that the agencies actively pursue the case against Rai and members of his family.
Senior officials said Indian express that Rai had been summoned twice in October and November of this year, but had asked for time.
The papers concerning the Bachchans were among the records kept by Mossack Fonseca (MF), a Panamanian company that helped set up offshore entities. These showed that for at least three years, Rai and his family were part of Amic Partners.
Indian express accessed MF files which showed that Rai, his father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Raj, his mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai and his brother Aditya Rai had been appointed on May 14, 2005, as directors of Amic Partners – with capital initial authorized of $ 50,000.
On June 18, 2005, a resolution of the Board of Directors of Amic changed Rai’s status to a shareholder. And on July 5, 2005, internal instructions exchanged between MF staff stated: âOne of the shareholders requested that her name be shortened from Ms. Ashwaria Rai (sic) to Ms. A Rai for confidentiality reasons. The same has been mutually agreed and agreed to by all directors and shareholders. “
In 2008, a year after Rai’s marriage to Abhishek Bachchan, the company’s liquidation process was initiated, according to MF records.
MF’s records also show that at the time the company was formed, each share had a par value of $ 1 with the certificate of occupancy stating that the four directors held an identical holding of 12,500 shares each.
Correspondence from the MF office in Dubai shows that Amic was acquired for $ 1,500, $ 1,150 being the acquisition fee and $ 350 being billed as the license fee. The agent used was a Dubai-based company, BKR Adonis Kannan. Amic’s subscriber resolution – dated May 12, 2005 – shows Rai and his father as the âfirst administratorsâ. In all of the MF documents related to Amic, the address columns were left blank.
In 2007, Amic was re-registered with a certificate of service, dated April 10, showing only Rai’s father and brother as directors and all four as shareholders. Once again, each stakeholder, including Rai, held 12,500 shares each. In 2008, the company was dissolved.
Archana Sadanand, Aishwarya Rai’s media advisor, said at the time: âWhat is this consortium (ICIJ) and what is it doing? Is this an authorized entity and how do we know the information they get is genuine? All the information you have is totally wrong and wrong.
The ED has been investigating the Panama Papers affair since the publication of the briefing in 2016. As reported by The Indian Express, more than 20,000 crore of undeclared assets have been detected by tax authorities in connection with the investigation into the Panama Papers.