Zee Media Bureau
< Panama Papers refers to more than 11 million confidential documents of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca with details of secret offshore accounts of world's powerful politicians and popular celebrities.
< World's powerful and rich people, sometimes resort to offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth and escape tax. One can buy a ready-made company or set up one's own, sometimes in just about three days for throwaway price like around $1000, or hire a third person or a nominee director for as little as $ 500, maintaining total anonymity of the real owner.
< The wealth parked in offshore companies may not necessarily be illegal.
< As per The Indian Express, its eight-month investigation of over 36,000 files has revealed around 500 Indian names linked to the Panama law firm. The newspaper has also named India's big Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Corporate honchos KP Singh, Vinod Adani etc.
< The Reserve Bank of India had allowed Indians to set up offshore companies only in 2013. Some of the accounts named by The Indian Express allegedly routed money to these offshore ventures much before that.