Former Miss World and actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been called in for questioning by the Indian financial authorities in connection with 2016 'Panama Papers' global tax leaks case. The 48-year-old has been accused of hoarding wealth abroad.
The actor, who is married to megastar Amitabh Bachchan's son, has been ordered by the Enforcement Directorate to depose before the agency in New Delhi.
Rai Was Summoned Previously by the Agency on Two Occasions
It was in 2017 when the Indian agency after launching an investigation into the alleged forex violations, had issued notices to the Bachchan family seeking details on their foreign payments since 2004, under the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS).
However, Rai, who had already submitted her records on the foreign payments under investigation, was called in by the agency on Monday to record her statement.
"The Panama Papers" leak sprung in 2016 which prompted investigation by the financial agencies. The 'leak' alleged that world's rich and powerful have transferred their wealth to offshore accounts or shell companies in a bid to avoid taxes. More than 300 Indians were named in the leaks.
The documents, some dating back to the 1970s, were created by, and taken from, former Panamanian offshore law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca.
According to The Print, an official said that some other instances of alleged irregularities linked to the family are also under the scanner of the federal probe agency.
Rai To Skip Meeting Again After Adjournment Plea Accepted
Rai, whose last onscreen outing was with 'Fanney Khan' released in 2018, is due to return after four years with filmmaker Mani Ratnam's historical fiction drama 'Ponniyin Selvan'.
Speaking to The Indian Express, senior officials from the agency said that Rai had been sent summons two times previously but had sought more time. "Let us wait and see if she responds to the third summons and comes," an official said.
However, this time too she will not be meeting the ED officials after her adjournment plea was accepted.
According to the outlet, the records maintained by the Panamanian firm revealed that Rai and her family were part of Amic Partners. "MF records revealed that Rai, her father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Rai, mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai, and brother Aditya Rai were appointed on May 14, 2005, as directors of Amic Partners â with an initial authorised capital of $50,000," the report read.