Multi-Disciplinary Team for Probing the Panama Papers Leaks
Ministry of Finance
Press Release dated 27-04-2016
Recently, information about certain offshore entities held by various Indian persons has appeared in media. Such information is attributed to be part of ‘Panama Papers’ leaks. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a Washington based organization which has reportedly made the revelations pertaining to the Panama Papers, has put a caveat on its website (www.icij.org) by mentioning that it should not be assumed that everyone who appears in the Panama Papers is involved in tax avoidance or evasion and there are legitimate reasons to create a company in an offshore jurisdiction and many people declare them to their tax authorities when that is required.
The Government has taken necessary measures for expeditious investigation in such cases including through enhanced international cooperation. Further course of action depends upon outcome of the investigation in respective cases.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, already constituted by the Government under Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of two former Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court in May 2014, is looking into the above matter also. With a view to facilitate co-ordinated and speedy investigation in the aforesaid cases of Indian persons, the Government has constituted a Multi-Agency Group on 4th April 2016. The Group consists of the officers of Investigation Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Foreign Tax & Tax Research Division of CBDT, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Reserve Bank of India, and its Convenor is Member (Investigation), CBDT.
The Multi-Agency Group has been asked to report the progress of investigation in such cases by relevant law enforcement agencies, on regular basis.
This was stated by Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha yesterday.