NEW DELHI: Vijay Mallya, who is already facing several cases from different investigative entities in India, has now been linked to an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands, the Panama Papers have revealed, The Indian Express reported.
Panama Papers, the 2.3 terabytes of information leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, have been throwing up names of politicians, celebrities, businessmen, sportspersons, and more.
Mallya, declared a wilful defaulter the consortium of 17 banks that loaned money to his now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, has been linked to Venture New Holding Ltd in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and has been in operational since February 15, 2006.
Investigation of the papers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed that Mallya is directly linked to the company.
The ICIJ said that Venture New Holding Ltd is directly linked to one Porticullus Trust Net which as the “one-stop solution” for setting up offshore accounts, the report said. Porticullus is located in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.
The report further notes that operations of the company linked to Mallya were carried out from his Bengaluru residential address.
Sharecorp Limited, operating as a nominee shareholder, was protecting Mallya’s identity until it was leaked. The company has been operating as a nominee shareholder for many other firms.
A nominee shareholder is not related to the client operating an offshore entity and work as third-party companies to uphold the client’s secrecy.
UK’s Financial Conduct Authority had also shares information about Venture New Holding and other offshore companies that Mallya may be operating. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is currently investigating these, the report said.
Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for defaulting on loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks, was directed by the Supreme Court on Thursday to disclose the total assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad by April 21. It also sought an indication from him when he will return to India.
The apex court’s directive came soon after the Indian banks’ consortium rejected Mallya’s offer to pay off Rs 4,000 crore by September, calling it “insufficient”.