Cases pertaining to 'Pandora Papers' to be investigated: CBDT

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Representative Image

New Delhi [India] October 4 (ANI): The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) of India on Monday said that relevant investigative agencies will undertake an investigation in cases pertaining to 'Pandora Papers'.

The Indian government has directed 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 of Central Board of Direct Taxes having representatives from Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and Financial Intelligence Unit, said CBDT in a statement.

The International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday came out with what is claimed to be a 2.94 terabyte data trove that exposes the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories.

The Finance Ministry said the Centre has taken note of these developments, and the relevant investigative agencies would undertake an investigation in these cases and "appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law."

"With a view to ensure effective investigation in these cases, the government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities," a CBDT spokesperson informed.

The spokesperson said 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.

Meanwhile, the investigation by ICIJ is based on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that give professional services to wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low or no-tax jurisdictions.

"Names of only a few Indians (legal entities as well as individuals) have appeared so far in the media. Even the ICIJ website (www.icij.org) has not yet released the names and other particulars of all the entities," the Ministry of Finance added in the statement.

According to the website of ICIJ, the 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'. (ANI)

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