04/05/2016 8:18 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Bollywood Actor Ajay Devgan's Name Surfaces In Panama Papers

The India Today Group via Getty Images
MUMBAI, INDIA OCTOBER 22: Ajay Devgan at the trailer launch of the movie Action Jackson in Mumbai. (Photo by Milind Shelte/India Today Group/Getty Images)

National Award winning actor-producer, Ajay Devgan’s name has surfaced in the Panama Paper leaks, according to a news report.

Under contention is Devgan’s acquisition of shareholding in Marylebone Entertainment Ltd., a company set up in the British Virgin Islands in 2013. This was done with the intention to purchase and exploit overseas rights of Hindi films, the report said.

Mossack Fonseca & Co (BVI) Ltd, the firm that is in the thick of the Panama Paper leak scandal, was the financial intermediary that helped to set up the company. Initially held by one Hassan N Sayani, a London-based individual, the shareholding of the company (1,000 shares) was bought by Devgan-backed M/s Nysa Yug Entertainment, a partnership he holds with wife Kajol.

“This company was set up with RBI guidelines for overseas direct investment route. Proper disclosures have been made by my family in the tax returns as required by law,” Devgan was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

“The shares held in Marylebone Entertainment Limited are reflected by M/s Nysa Yug Entertainment in its balance sheet as filed with the I-T Department,” said Anil Sekhri, Devgan’s chartered accountant to Indian Express.

For more than a year after the company was set up, Devgan resigned as its director in December 2014 after appointing an overseas trust EFG Trust Company Ltd. as the nominee directors. This, the news report says, was done to comply with the change in regulations that were anticipated in the overseas held companies of Indians.

As many as 500 Indians allegedly figure in an unprecedented leak of more than 11.5 million documents from the files of law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in the tax haven of Panama. Investigations have revealed how the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm helped hundreds of thousands of offshore clients, foundations and trusts launder money and dodge tax.

The list includes the names of film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, along with her family members. The investigation has revealed that corporates, including DLF owner KP Singh and nine members of his family and Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, are also part of the list. Shishir Bajoria and Anurag Kejriwal are the politicians whose names allegedly come up in the list.

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