Multi Agency Group to monitor investigations in Pandora Papers case


NEW DELHI: A Multi-Agency Group headed by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will monitor investigations into the Pandora Papers case, an official statement said on Monday.

Names of more than 300 wealthy Indians, including business people, figure in the ‘Pandora Papers’ that have uncovered financial assets of rich individuals across the world, and many of the Indians have rejected allegations of misdoings.

The ‘Pandora Papers’, a leak of troves of financial records in offshore tax havens, has been obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

In a statement, CBDT said the government has taken note of this and relevant investigative agencies would undertake an investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken as per law.

“The Government has directed today that, investigations in cases of Pandora Papers leaks appearing in the media under the name ‘PANDORA PAPERS’ will be monitored through the Multi-Agency Group, headed by the Chairman, CBDT, having representatives from CBDT, ED, RBI & FIU,” said the CBDT, which is the apex decision making body on income tax matters.

To ensure effective investigation of these cases, the government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities.

“The Government of India is also part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks,” the CBDT added.

It further said names of only a few Indians (legal entities as well as individuals) have appeared in the media so far.

Even the ICIJ website has not yet released the names and other particulars of all the entities.

The website of ICIJ suggests that information will be released in phases and structured data connected to the Pandora Papers investigation will be released only in the days to come on its Offshore Leaks Database, it added.