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Bollywood, glamour, sports in latest Pama Papers expose

Bollywood, glamour, sports in latest Pama Papers expose

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

After Amitabh Bachchan, Karee, Saif and Karisma amongst celebrities linked to offshore investments

New Delhi, April 7: A consortium that unsuccessfully bid for an Indian Premier League franchise -- which included actors Saif Ali Khan, Karee Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor, industrialist Venugupal Dhoot's firms and Pune-based realtors Chordia family -- had investments by an offshore company.

Stating this in its latest "Pama Papers" expose, The Indian Express on Thursday reported that 10 members had entered into a pact to form P-Vision Sports to bid for IPL Pune franchise, in which 15 percent was earmarked for the offshore firm, Obdurate Ltd in British Virgin Islands.

It was shut after failing to win the bid, the newspaper said.

In the sports consortium, the largest stake of 33 percent was held by the Chordia family, 4.5 percent each by Karee and Karisma, 9 percent each by Saif and Mumbai resident Manoj S. Jain and 25 percent by Dhoot through two group companies. Obdurate was earmarked 15 percent.

Dhoot said he was concerned only with the 25 percent in P-Vision sports and did not know of Obdurate, while Atul Chordia said his group always owned 100 percent of the sports company and that the offshore entity never held any share in it.

As regards others, the newspaper said, Karee Kapoor's office informed she was not in town, Jain was not available for comment and Saif did not respond to messages and e-mails.

Indian authorities, led by Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, have said not every off-shore company opened by an Indian need be illegitimate, and that this would be the primary task of a probe team that has been set up as per orders by Prime Minister rendra Modi.

The latest expose by Indian Express had another story with a sports link: That Lokesh Sharma, maging director of sports magement major Twenty First Century Media, has two companies of his own registered in the tax haven of British Virgin Islands. The third is a subsidiary of the sports company.

Sharma told the Express that while a company in British Virgin Islands, Margarita Services, was intended to be acquired through an overseas solicitor, he neither proceeded on the matter, nor did he receive any share of the company operated or maged by the entity.

As regards another firm, Mardi Gras Holdings, he said he has been complying with relevant Indian laws and that the tax returns for the same for the year ended March 31, 2016 were not due yet. In the third entity, Peppermint Magement, Sharma said he was compliant and Reserve Bank of India was informed.

The newspaper has been carrying the stories as part of a global expose of Intertiol Consortium of Investigative Jourlists (ICIJ) and over 100 global media organisations, dubbed the "Pama Papers", based on millions of leaked documents of a Pama law firm Mossak Fonseca.

Among others med in the expose on Thursday included a Delhi-based tyre dealer, a boutique owner, the daughter of an Australian mining billioire, a textiles exporter, an engineering company owner, metals firm's directors and a chartered accountant.

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