Paradise Papers Current Affairs

Government reconstitutes Multi-Agency Group probe into Paradise Papers revelation

The Union Government has reconstituted Multi-Agency Group (MAG) to investigate cases relating to ‘Paradise Papers’ data disclosure which is also probing the Panama Papers leak.

It will be led by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman and will have representatives from Enforcement Directorate, RBI and Financial Intelligence Unit.

The MAG was constituted in April 2016 to investigate legality of money stashed in offshore entities by Indians named in Panama Papers by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Panama Papers had named several prominent Indian politicians, actors, and businessmen as having offshore undisclosed bank accounts.

Paradise Papers

The Paradise Papers, a largest ever leak of financial data containing 13.4 million documents on offshore entities involving people and companies from 180 countries to dodge tax. The files were first obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ and partner 95 media outlets that includes Indian partner The Indian Express.

The leaked data includes seven million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and also from Asiacity, a Singapore-based family-owned trust company. India with 714 names, ranks 19th in terms of number of names that feature in papers.

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ICIJ releases Paradise papers

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has released ‘The Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.

Among 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names. In all names of 714 Indians have figured in this largest ever black money data leak.

Key Facts

The Paradise Papers are set of 13.4 million documents mainly from Appleby, an offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond related to offshore investment in some of the world’s most secretive countries. The files were first obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ and partner 95 media outlets. They contain the names of more than 120,000 people and companies across the globe. Big companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, EBay, Uber, Glencore, Nike, Walmart, Allianz, Siemens, McDonald’s and Yahoo were also named in it.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

The ICIJ is global network of more than 200 investigative journalists in 70 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories. It was founded in 1997 by respected American journalist Chuck Lewis. It was launched as a project of Centre for Public Integrity, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers: corruption, cross-border crime and accountability of power. It is headquartered in Washington DC, US. Earlier in 2016, it had released Panama Papers.

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