A Leaked Document Embedded with Many Secrets
International Consortium and Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) claims to have exposed 11.9 million leak papers from 14 global corporate services firms which set about 29,000 off-the-shelf companies and private trusts. There are at least 380 persons of Indian nationality out of which are about 60 prominent individuals and companies. The ICIJ claims that after 2016 Panama papers leak which exposed the offshore finance industry and caused the fall of the two prime minister, is now set to dig deeper to find out more veracity in leaking to secrete the wealth of the rich and the influential.
The Pandora is quite different from the Panama and Paradise papers. The Pandora Papers shows how businesses have created a new normal after countries have been forced to tighten the grip on such Off-shore entities with rising concerns of money laundering, tax evasion, terrorism funding. After the Panama leaks Switzerland, Cayman Island were the prominent places. The Pandora papers reveal new destinations such as New Zealand, British Virgin Island, Singapore and the US. Moreover, the Government of India had set up investigation unit involving Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU), Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Foreign Tax and Tax Research(FT&TR) divisions and the RBI. It may also bring new setup of investigation unit for the Pandora case which may surprise many.
It will be tortuous task to determine the culpability of the person as opening a trust to hold money cannot be grounds for prosecutions. In addition, If any transactions has happened a long ago that even the government will find it hard to link it definitively to a person because the money would have been routed through various complex structure by now. Also, overseas trusts provide remarkable secrecy because of the strict privacy laws in those jurisdictions. The government must create special investigation unit to unearth ill-gotten money stashed abroad back to the country and set example that no wrong can be escaped from here and justice will eventually prevail. If nothing big is achieved from this, there will be of no use of leaking papers. Therefore, it is inevitable to maintain trust among people for further leaks if there any
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