Indian cricketer superstar Sachin Tendulkar, who was a member of the Upper House of Parliament, along with members of his family, is featured in the Pandora Papers as the beneficial owners of an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) which was liquidated in 2016.
Sachin, with his wife Anjali Tendulkar and his stepfather Anand Mehta, according to an investigation into the files of the Panamanian law firm Alcogal which is part of Pandora Papers, are appointed BO and directors of a BVI-based company: Saas International Limited. The data is part of documents from the Panamanian law firm Alcogal, the company of which is incorporated by LJ Management (Switzerland).
The first reference of Saas in Pandora’s archives dates back to 2007 and the most detailed set of documents, as well as the financial benefits for the owners of the company, are available from the time of the liquidation of the company in July 2016.
At the time of the liquidation of the company, its shares were repurchased by the shareholders at the indicated value:
Sachin Tendulkar (9 shares): $ 856,702
Anjali Tendulkar (14 shares): $ 1,375,714
Anand Mehta (5 shares) $ 453,082
Thus, the average repurchase price for shares of Saas International Limited is approximately $ 96,000. And as shown in a company resolution dated August 10, 2007 (the day the company was founded), 90 company shares were initially issued.
Anjali Tendulkar obtained the first share certificate with 60 shares; his father got the second share certificate with 30 shares. Although there are no details on the repurchase of the remaining shares, the value of 90 shares can be set at $ 8.6 million (around Rs 60 crore).
The liquidation date of Saas International Limited is significant as it occurred three months after the The Panama Papers exhibit.
In Alcogal’s spreadsheets, Sachin Tendulkar and Anjali Tendulkar also feature in newspapers where they are categorized as Politically Exposed Person (PEP). In a register of PEPs, Sachin Tendulkar is listed on the grounds that he is a Member of Parliament and is classified in the “high risk” category.
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Another review of Sachin and Anjali’s PEP status was carried out in May 2016, two months before the liquidation of Saas International Limited.
Sachin Tendulkar’s tenure as an appointed member of the Rajya Sabha was from 2012 to 2018 and for four of those years his BVI entity was registered and operated with Alcogal.
According to the regulations, appointed members of the Rajya Sabha are not required to submit their annual list of assets and liabilities, unlike other elected MPs.
In the datasets on Saas International Limited, its MoA indicates that it was a company limited by shares and was authorized to issue 50,000 shares with a par value of $ 1 each. Another company, called Cellar Limited, was appointed secretary.
In addition, subject to BVI law, the business could “carry on or undertake any business or activity, including trade in products or goods …”
At the time of its liquidation, Panamanian national John B Foster was appointed “voluntary liquidator” of the company. There is also a certificate of solvency that indicates that the value of the company’s assets is equal to or greater than its liabilities. The deadline for dissolving the company is August 31, 2016.
The resolution of the shareholders for the dissolution is signed by its three shareholders: Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar and Anand Mehta.
In accordance with the regulations of the Mutual Legal Assistance Act 2003 (MLA), there are also details of where “the location of records and underlying documentation” will be for Saas International Limited after its termination. liquidation.
The certificate, dated July 15, 2016 (the day the liquidation was initiated), shows that the records would be kept by LJ Management in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
When contacted, Mrinmoy Mukherjee, CEO and Director of the Sachin Tendulkar Foundation, said: “The investment referenced by Mr. Tendulkar was made by him from his tax paid funds under the program. liberalized payment (LRS) and has been duly accounted for and declared in its tax returns.
(Under the LRS program, as of March 2007, a person could contribute $ 100,000 per year for specified purposes. This amount was increased to $ 200,000 in September 2007, sharply reduced to $ 75,000 in August 2013 , revised upwards to $ 125,000 in June 2014, then doubled to the existing $ 250,000 in May 2015.)
“You, in your email, not only acknowledged the legal uses of offshore companies, but also indicated that the intention of the ICIJ is to examine the use of certain jurisdictions by individuals to engage in money laundering. money, tax evasion and other illicit activities.
“This being the case, we therefore wish from the outset to strongly reiterate the legitimacy of the investment referenced by Mr. Tendulkar, the payment of taxes on these funds, and the declaration of such an investment in Mr. Tendulkar. As is apparent from the payment of taxes by Mr. Tendulkar and the declaration of such an investment in Mr. Tendulkar’s tax returns, there can be no question that Mr. Tendulkar engaged in any of the practices cited in your email.
He added: “We reiterate that Mr. Tendulkar’s investment was legitimately made through banking channels from India and has been declared to the tax authorities. Also, the amount of Rs 60 crore you quoted is grossly incorrect, but anyway, all amounts received by Mr. Tendulkar during the liquidation of the investment were also reported in his tax returns. .
“We once again ask you to ensure that neither The Indian Express nor the ICIJ attribute or allege improper or unlawful motives for Mr. Tendulkar’s legitimate investments,” he added.