The Pandora Papers and their significance for India

The Pandora papers expose the dark underbelly of the financial institutions and from long-established tax havens to U.S. trust companies where despots and billionaires stash their ill-gotten wealth.

A trust comes into existence on a far off island and welcomes everyone regardless of their make, creed, honesty, source of income and promises to protect their fortunes and privacy for a decent sum of money. The call is answered by tycoons related to money laundering, corruption, drug dealing, sports, and communications, worker exploitation, who find a safe haven for their ill-gotten wealth.

Then a Pandora Box… sorry, Pandora Papers opens a list of despots, politicians, drug dealers, and billionaires who stashed their gains in safe tax-havens.

Poor Indians named in the Pandora Papers

The list also includes some poor Indians. The poorest of the poor and pauper Anil Ambani who declared in a London court that he is broke and cannot repay the money he took from Chinese Banks. Anil Ambani’s name pops up in the Pandora leaks and the money involved is massive.  How did the supposed pauper manage to get $1.3-billion into a web of offshore firms?

There are more names –Sachin Tendulkar, Nirav Modi’s sister, John McCallum Marshall Shaw, a British citizen and maybe more. Columbian drug dealers, President Putin, Politicians from Latin American countries have all allegedly siphoned their ill-gotten gains into these trust funds.

The burgeoning American Trust Industry

The US government is very vocal in condemning offshore financial centres where liberal rules and questions asked policy draws all the oligarchs, business tycoons and politicians to stash their ill-gotten wealth. However, there is a big and burgeoning American Trust Industry that shelters the ill-gotten wealth of international millionaires and billionaires and in return promise them secrecy and security which can rival those offered by tax havens in far-flung islands.

The Washington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had a look at the billions of dollars that have been pumped into these trusts including those shell companies which have been created by Anil Ambani in the US.

206 US-based trusts linked to 41 countries revealed in Pandora Papers

The record is known as the Pandora papers and it exposes the dark underbelly of the financial institutions and from long-established tax havens to U.S. trust companies where despots and Billionaires stash their ill-gotten wealth.

Investigations by whistleblowers have revealed 206 US-based trusts linked to 41 countries. The people who are allegedly associated with these trusts are people or companies accused of fraud, corruption or human rights abuses in some of the world’s poorest communities.

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