Considered to be a leak bigger than even the secret intelligence documents given out by Edward Snowden in 2013 and WikiLeaks’s revelation of US diplomatic cable in 2010, Panama papers contain information filed since 1970s. It involves 2.6 TB of data, a total of 11.5 million documents that have been leaked by an anonymous insider.

The Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, specialises in helping foreigners to set up a shell company (off shore accounts) to keep their wealth and identity under covers. Although this practice is not new, this massive revelation gives us a glimpse into one of the largest business of tax evasion and money laundering.

The first to lay their hands on the documents was  Munich based newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. The documents that were released were of such a large scale that it turned into an international research effort, spearheaded by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism and their partners.

The Indian Express claimed that more than 500 Indians were listed on the firm’s list of offshore companies.


Here are some of prominent Indians caught in the global web of corruption:

1.  Amitabh Bachchan


























He was appointed director in at least four offshore shipping companies set up in 1993. This was two years before he launched the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) in 1995.

2.  Aishwarya Rai


The newspaper claimed that, she and her father Koted Ramana Rai, mother Vrinda Krishna Raj  Rai and her brother Aditya Rai were registered in 2005 as directors of the Amic Partners limited. Aishwarya’s status was later changed to shareholder of  the firm in the British Virgin Islands before the company was dissolved in 2008.

3. Sameer Gehlaut,  chairman and founder of the Indiabulls Group.


He acquired “three top London properties” via “entities” in Karnal, Delhi, Bahamas, Jersy and UK. These properties which was set up in 2012, owned by the SG Family Trust is currently being developed as residential and hotel projects.

4.  KP Singh, chairman and CEO of DLF Limited


Him and his family owned firms in the British Virgin Islands. In 2010 he acquired a company in the Islands with his wife Indira KP Singh as a shareholder. With his children Rajiv Singh and Pia Singh he set up another company in 2012. The total cost of the offshore entities stands at 10 million dollars, reports the Indian Express.

5. Politicians Shishir Bajoria and Anurag Kejriwal.









Anurag Kejriwal was the president of Delhi branch of India’s Lok Satta party until his expulsion in 2014 after an undercover expose showed him offering political access and privileges to outside interests.

According to the ICIJ investigations, Kejriwal and his wife set up their first company in the British Virgin Islands in 2007. In 2008 and 2010, they restructured their assets and established two foundations in Panama of which they, and their son, were beneficiaries.

The investigations also disclosed many other significant names from Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani to Mumbai ganglord the late Iqbal Mirchi and many other businessmen.



Here are 5 international figures whose names have appeared in the documents:

1. Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina














He was director and vice president of Fleg Trading, a Bahamas company. While declaring his assets in 2007 and 2008 when he was mayor of Buenos Aires, Macri did not disclose his connection the company.

In a statement the Macri administration clarified that he had no capital participation  in the company and the ghost company was related to the family business group so he had to occasionally play the role of its director.

However, the statement did not say anything related to the leaked documents.

2. Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi


While Messi and his father already have a tax fraud on their head for which they will be standing in trial  in May, another bomb dropped on their head.

The father-son duo is accused of giving up the player’s image rights to the companies so that they could avoid declaring money earned from the deals with sponsors in Spain.

The Panama papers also include the names of other 20 high-profile footballers.

3. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi


Known for his fancy and spendthrift nature, the Sheikh Khalifa gifted $150 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

He also built a seven-story mountain-top palace in the Seychelles. The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa has been made in the honour of the Sheikh.

4. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif












The sons and daughters of Sharif had set up at least four offshore companies in British Virgin Islands (BVI) and bought six lavish properties in London.

Perhaps that would answer why he visited Britain for 17 times and stayed there for 2 months.

The documents reviewed by The Indian Express reveal that the family mortgaged four of these properties to the Deutsche Bank for a loan of 7 million.
5. Close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin


While Vladimir Putin has not been named directly but the data reveals a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring run by a Russian bank. Bank Rossiya has been described by the US government as the “personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation”.

The ring involved close associates of the Russian president.

The two offshore companies used for laundering money are officially owned by one of the president’s closest friend. Sergei Roldugin is even godfather to Putin’s daughter Maria. Roldugin earned hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from suspicious deals.

There are 72 current and former heads of state whose names appear in the list.

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