The veil is lifted: the big defaulters at home have millions hidden abroad


Anil Ambani is not alone in declaring bankruptcy and has assets in complex offshore networks. The secret archives of Pandora Papers studied by Indian express show several cases of large defaulting debtors who file for bankruptcy in collection courts – some have even stopped – but hold billions through offshore entities abroad.

These details, which will be presented in the coming days in the round of inquiries, include a set of Mumbai-based businessmen in the real estate sector who owe Indian banks more than Rs 88,000 crore.

These businessmen are in prison and since 2007, the Pandora newspapers reveal, they have created a series of offshore companies in BVI and Bahamas and one of them was created to hold significant assets.

Also in the housing sector is a Delhi-based businessman named in the 2G Spectrum case, who according to Pandora newspapers has created two BVI companies and a family trust with his wife.

In 2009, his company failed to repay a $ 210 million loan from Credit Suisse for investing in real estate projects in India. The builder is also in jail for allegedly cheating on homebuyers.

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Three years ago, while investigators were busy investigating criminal cases for alleged fraud on bank loans over $ 2.1 billion, a prominent Indian businessman fled India and s ‘was busy collecting good character certificates from Nigerian banks and lawyers to start a series of businesses in BVI to grow. his oil company.

There is also a Mumbai-based jeweler whose company has defaulted Rs 500 crore on loan repayments to 19 Indian banks and, according to records, has set up a network of offshore companies with cross-shareholdings. to channel funds with a billionaire. A Saudi businessman linked to a Mexican drug lord.

Then there is a Kolkata-based businessman slapped with the highest Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) notice of Rs 7,220 crore, who opened offshore companies in BVI through Trident Trust Company, The Pandora Papers records reveal.

Besides those operating from India, there are also several top NRIs that have borrowed extensively from Indian banks and, despite collection and foreclosure procedures, they have yet to disclose details of their extensive network of companies. offshore and the assets they hold.

For example, there is an NRI businessman, operating in the United Arab Emirates, who was arrested last year during a visit to India and his Indian bank dues were set at Rs 2,800 crore. Again, judges who heard his bank default cases have, in recent orders, pointed out that he had not disclosed his “other assets”.

Among those assets is a maze of offshore companies, mostly created by The Trident Trust, with family members among the shareholders, Pandora records reveal.

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