Niranjan Hiranandani, the founder of Mumbai-based real estate group Hiranandani, and key members of his family have been beneficiaries of a trust with assets of over $ 60 million.
Niranjan was the “reserve manager” of at least three companies set up in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) by his Dubai-based son, according to the records of the Pandora Papers on which Indian express spectacle.
The BVI Commercial Companies Act provides for the appointment of a reserve administrator to act in the event of the death of the sole director of a company.
Trident Trust Company records investigated by The Indian Express show that Hiranandani’s son Darshan Hiranandani, 39, established at least 25 companies as a director and The Solitaire Trust as a settlor in IVBs between 2006 and 2008 .
In the following years, the shareholding of these companies was transferred to The Solitaire Trust, which held assets of over $ 60 million as of May 2017.
Respond to questions sent by Indian express, Darshan Hiranandani said, “It is my personal trust that has built up assets since 2007. Any money going to the trust is money sent by me.”
Darshan Hiranandani was also one of the beneficiaries of the trust, along with his father Niranjan, mother Kamal, sister Priya, the Hiranandani Foundation and the settlor’s (descendants) show.
While Darshan was a manager in most of the BVI companies he founded until 2008, his father Niranjan was a “reserve manager” in at least three of them: Hircon (BVI) Limited, Horizon Hotels (BVI ) Limited and Burke Consolidated.
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The records show no significant activity carried out by the 25 or so BVI companies, with the exception of a key transaction by one of them, District Holdings Limited: the 2008 lease of a Bombardier Challenger 850 CL aircraft. -600-2B19 of Game Aviation FZC in the United Arab Emirates through an agreement with UBS AG.
Darshan served on the Board of Directors of District Holdings until July 2008 and held 1,000 shares until May 2013. These shares were transferred to Harris Worldwide, a shareholder of several companies registered in BVI through Trident Trust, and then to Nogard Associates Limited in June 2013.
As for The Solitaire Trust, it initially held 1,000 shares at $ 1 each in two of these BVI companies: Pin High Holdings Ltd and Plainsailing Investments Limited. Subsequently, the Trust also received shares from other companies.
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Records show that the trust’s settlor, Darshan, paid an annual trustee fee of $ 3,000 between 2008 and 2015.
However, Trident Trust Company has offered to increase fees based on the increase in assets.
In May 2017, the Trident Trust Company wrote to Darshan and an employee of his Dubai-based company Hircon International: “We confirm that our trustee fees will be increased to match the value of the trust fund, starting this year: year – representing assets ranging from US $ 60 million to US $ 100 million. Unfortunately, we cannot continue to provide trustee services at the bare minimum of US $ 3,000.00 per year, representing assets up to $ 5 million, ”the email reads.
Records show that Hiranandani and his son resigned as directors of most of these companies in July 2008. Over the following years, the holdings of these companies were transferred to Trident Trust as a director of The Solitaire. Trust.
Responding to questions from The Indian Express, Darshan Hiranandani, in a statement, said: “Solitaire Trust is my personal investment vehicle and Niranjan Hiranandani (and / or the Hiranandani group in India) has nothing to do with training. , financing or operation. of the Trust. My father was never the beneficial owner but a discretionary beneficiary. He (or my mother) never received a benefit (directly or indirectly).
“Given the Sharia regime, it was difficult to have a trusted vehicle in Dubai for my businesses. Therefore, Solitaire Trust was created by me. It is my personal trust that has built up assets since 2007. Any money going to the Trust is money sent by me.
Referring to his business, he said: “I have been a non-resident Indian in Dubai since 2004 and started my own real estate business in Dubai in 2004. These funds are used by me to invest and develop businesses… J did my business overseas using BVI Companies… I personally make all relevant disclosures and disclosures of all of its investments in India.
Regarding the aircraft lease, he said: “District Holdings was a company I owned overseas. The Hiranandani group (namely Niranjan and Surendra Hiranandani) has nothing to do with it. The aircraft lease was abandoned in 2012. “