Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, whose name figures among 500 Indians in the Panama Paper leaks as allegedly having links with offshore entities in two tax havens, on Tuesday denied any connection with those companies.
Amitabh Bachchan reacted saying his name may have been misused, reports The Hindu.
Responding specifically to The Indian Express led reportage, Bachchan said: “In any event, the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part”.
Apart from Bachchan, some others who have spoken up after the expose are saying that their investments abroad are within legal boundaries.
He also claimed that even the news report had not suggested any wrongdoing on his part. The Indian Express carried a report on Monday based on leaked documents of a Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca which is said to feature links of over 500 Indians to firms and accounts in offshore tax havens.
Referring to the report, Bachchan, 73, said, “I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express—Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd, and Tramp Shipping Ltd.
I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused.
“I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part,” his statement read.
According to The Indian Express, Mossack Fonseca records show that the four companies, in which Bachchan was appointed director, were registered in tax havens — one in the British Virgin Islands and three in the Bahamas in 1993. The authorised capital of these companies, according to the documents, ranged between $5,000 and $50,000 but they traded in ships worth millions of dollars.
The names of Bachchan's daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, her parents and brother also figured in the leaked documents as being directors in a firm in the British Virgin Islands. Times of India has cobbled together this infographic on prominent Indians named in the Panama Papers.
The Indian Express quoted Aishwarya Rai's media adviser Archana Sadanand, who raised questions about the International Consortium of Investigating Journalists and said all the information the paper had was totally untrue and false.