New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate questioned Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for nearly 5 hours on Monday, regarding the Panama Papers leak case. The 48-year-old actress appeared before the investigators following a summons issued by the federal agency against her to join the investigation.
The ED had issued notices to the Bachchan family asking them to explain their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. The ED recorded the statement of the actress in the case over allegations of stashing wealth abroad under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. She had earlier submitted records on the foreign payments under investigation. Sources in the agency informed that Bachchan was summoned earlier too but she could not appear and sought next dates at least two times.
‘The Panama Papers’ case is a sprawling investigation spanning millions of documents stolen and leaked to the media in 2016, which involves allegations that the world’s rich and powerful set up offshore accounts or shell companies to avoid taxes. The Papers pertain to leaked documents that point towards fraud and tax evasion by many individuals and corporate entities across the world, and over 300 Indians were said to be part of them. All these people were accused of tax fraud.
Many Indian celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai were named in this paper leak. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s name featured in the list of Indians who were named in the massive leak of 11.5 million tax documents exposing their secret offshore dealings. After the name surfaced in this case, Amitabh had said that he has sent money abroad only under Indian rules. He also denied having any affiliation with the companies that appeared in the Panama Papers.