The Centre on Monday set up a multi-agency group to probe the Pandora Papers that have leaked in the media. The chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) heads the group, which also has representatives of Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Finance Ministry.
A Finance Ministry spokesman said that names of only a few Indians (legal entities as well as individuals) have appeared so far in the media. He said even the ICIJ website (www.icij.org) 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.
He said the government has taken note of the release of 2.94 terabyte of data trove released by the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ), exposing the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories.
The government will also proactively engage with the foreign jurisdictions in respect of relevant taxpayers for effective investigation of the cases, he added.
IT SEARCHES IN MUMBAI, PUNE, BENGALURU, NOIDA: Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department carried our searches and seizures on 37 premises spread across multiple cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Noida on the varied businesses of real estate, textile, cable manufacturing, printing machines, hotels and logistics.
It claimed unearthing of credits in the bank accounts of groups and individuals maintained by a Dubai-based financial service provider show undisclosed income exceeding $100 million (about Rs 750 crore) that accumulated over a decade and parked in banks in Switzerland, UAE, Malaysia and several other countries.