NEW DELHI: Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi for more than five hours about the Panama Papers leak. She joined the investigation about 2 p.m. and thereafter left the ED’s Jamnagar House. Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya’s husband, taped his testimony around a month ago.
The ED has filed a FEMA case and has twice requested that Aishwarya join the investigation. On November 9th, the most recent summons was issued under Section 37 of the FEMA.
As per Panama Papers, Amic Partners was a corporation founded in the British Virgin Islands in 2004. Later, in May 2005, the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca appointed four family members of Aishwarya Rai to the board of directors of this corporation.
The International Consortium of Journalists disclosed the names of nearly 2,14,000 individuals who have set up offshore entities for alleged tax fraud in 2016. A prominent newspaper in this country recognised 500 industrialists, celebrities, and high-net-worth individuals who had also established corporations in tax havens.
Each family member held 12,500 shares of US $1 each with a paid-up capital of $50,000. Aishwarya Rai, her father Kotedadiramana Rai Krishna Rai, her mother Kavita, and her brother Aditya Rai served as the company’s directors.
Her title was changed from shareholder to director in June 2005. Her name was changed to A Rai on the company’s records. Aishwarya Rai married Abhishek Bachchan in April 2007.
A year later, the company was purchased for US $1500 by a Dubai-based middleman firm, and its name was later removed from the British Virgin Islands’ registrar of companies in 2009. Officials from the ED have not said if Aishwarya Rai will be summoned again.
These were the questions asked by the ED:
- In 2005, Amic Partners was founded and registered in the British Virgin Islands. What relationship do you have with this company?
- Do you know which law firm registered Mossack Fonseca’s company?
- You, your father Kotedadiramana Rai Krishna Rai, your mother Kavita Rai, and your brother Aditya Rai are all directors of this corporation. What do you have to say about it?
- The company’s initial paid-up capital is $50,000. Each share was worth one dollar, and each director had 12,500 shares. Why did you decide to become a shareholder after serving as a director?
- Why was your status changed to shareholder in June 2005?
- Why did the company go inactive in 2008?
- Was authorization from the Reserve Bank of India obtained for financial transactions?
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