A total of about 2,000 individuals, entities and addresses from India have reportedly appeared in the data published online by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Monday. Of the over 11.5 million documents reportedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, 37,000 are linked to India, the Hindu reported.
The ICIJ published 2.6 terabyte of searchable data on the Panama papers leak late on Monday on its website. The data on India has names of companies that were incorporated as late as in 1994 and in places like British Virgin Islands, Seychelles and Singapore. It has revealed 22 offshore entities, 1,046 individuals, 42 intermediaries and 828 addresses.
"The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) publishes today (Monday) a searchable database that strips away the secrecy of nearly 214,000 offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions, from Nevada to Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands," ICIJ said.
"There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. Many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities located in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information," the Hindu cites a disclaimer on the ICIJ website.
The entities that have been named include Venus Holding Corporation, Millenium Group Investments Limited, Infinity (B.V.I) Group Limited and Action Slate Films Limited. The addresses are from across the country, including Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jodhpur, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
The consortium published an edition of the leaked Panama papers last month, naming at least 500 Indians, including actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. The Income-Tax Department issued notices to the individuals and entities named in the leaked documents.
The financial and legal records were reportedly leaked by an anonymous person to German newspaper SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) more than a year ago, a claim that is denied by Mossack Fonseca. The source "submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca" to the daily, according to the SZ website.
"In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data," which "covers a period spanning from the 1970s to the spring of 2016," the website states. "It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world's rich and famous: from politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes."
All the documents were analysed and examined by at least 400 journalists from over 100 media organisations, including the Indian Express in India, the Guardian and the BBC in England, Le Monde in France, and La NaciÃ³n in Argentina. The team of ICIJ initially met in Washington, Munich, Lillehammer and London.