Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s monarchic tweet on allegations against her husband in Pandora Papers leak

The Pandora Papers has revealed that Biocon and John Shaw’s company used services by banned Allegro and Kashyap along with actor Jackie Shroff’s connection to an offshore entity

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, founder of biopharmaceutical firm, Biocon has said that media stories are ‘wrongly implicating’ her husband John Shaw’s offshore trust.  She tweeted – “… my husband’s offshore trust, which is a bonafide, legitimate trust and is managed by Independent Trustees. No Indian resident holds “the key” to the trust as alleged in these stories.”

But she has turned off comment sections on her tweet. The response was against Indian Express’s story about Glentec in connection to the Pandora papers.

The allegation against Glentec International

British citizen John Shaw owns 99% of the shares of Mauritius-based Glentec International, which holds around 19% stake in Kiran’s Biocon.

Genetic International has set up The Deanstone Trust in New Zealand and has proposed Kunal Kashyap as the Protector of the trust, the newspaper revealed.

The trust is a part of a complex structure, Indian Express reported. The Protector is appointed by the Settlor, who sets up the trust or authors it. The Protector supervises the trustee who administers the trust’s affairs.

The trust holds the shares of Dean stone PTC, through a nominee entity Cyreal. Therefore, Deanstone PTC Ltd, in turn, becomes the trustee of Dean stone Trust.

In July this year, market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has banned Allegro Capital Private and its majority stakeholder, Kunal Ashok Kashyap, from trading in the stock market for a year on the charges of insider trading.  SEBI also ordered disclosure of the wrongful gains of 24.68 lakhs rupees with 12% interest for over three years and penalized 10 lakh rupees each for insider trading in Biocon shares.

Thus, the black-listed Kashyap is the Protector of the Deanstone Trust, of which the Deanstone PTC is a trustee.  Indian Express was part of the journalist consortium, which reported the financial irregularities and investigated the Pandora leaks.

Bollywood marred again in Pandora Papers

Earlier, in Panama leaks, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan named featured in the list. This time it is Jackie Shroff.

Shroff along with his actor son Tiger Shroff (Jai Shroff) and daughter, Krishna Shroff were other beneficiaries, according to the memorandum of trust, set up in the name of his mother-in-law in New Zealand.

The actor made a ‘substantial contribution’ to the trust that has a Swiss Bank account. It also owned an offshore company in British Virgin Island, reported by Indian Express.

Records also show that Media Trust-owned Millenstock Holdings was struck off the Register of Companies on May 1, 2013. The shares were allotted to LFTC as the trustee of Media Trust. Millenstock Holdings is an offshore firm incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Other people linked by the secret documents to offshore assets include Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar, pop music singer Shakira, supermodel Claudia Schiffer and an Italian mobster ‘Lell the Fat One’.

In response to the allegation, Tendulkar’s Attorney has said that Sachin’s investment is legitimate. They are all declared to the tax regulators, he added.

Pandora Papers and British Virgin Island

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), around 312 companies have been established in the British Virgin Islands for clients of Morgan Stanley, which is an American financial services company.  A document in the Pandora Papers revealed that banks across the world have helped their customers set up at least 3,926 offshore companies with the assistance of Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, a Panamanian law firm led by a former ambassador to the US. The ICIJ also highlighted how Baker McKenzie, America’s largest and largest law firm, helped create the modern offshore system. The firm is still reported to be a mainstay of this shadow economy.

The Pandora papers leak revealed that how an English accountant in Switzerland and the lawyers in the British Virgin Island have helped Jordan’s monarch, King Abdullah II to secretly purchase 14 luxury homes worth over $106 million in both US and UK.  The advisers have guided the Jordanian monarch in setting up at least 36 shell companies from 1995 to 2017.

In 2017, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie became the owners of the $8.8 million Victorian buildings by taking over the company that owned the property in the British Virgin Island. It now houses Cherie Blair’s law firm.

Brazil’s economics minister, Paulo Guedes held an offshore entity in the name of Dreadnoughts International Group on the island in 2014. On the flip side, Guedes has proposed a new economic proposal that levies 30% tax on the profit earned from offshore entities. According to various reports and experts, rich Brazilians have almost $200 billion in offshore companies as untaxed profit. 

The Turkish mogul’s company, Rönesans Holding’s titan Ayse Ilicak, became the owner of two offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, according to the Pandora Papers in 2014.  One of the companies, Covar Trading, held assets from the family’s construction conglomerate. The firm had earned $105.5 million as ‘income from dividends’ during the first full year in operation, according to confidential financial statements reported by ICIJ. The money was stashed in a Swiss account but not for long, the papers reported.

In the same year, the financial records revealed that Covar Trading paid the entire amount ($105.5 million) as a ‘donation’ listed under the ‘extraordinary expenses’ category.

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