New Delhi: ED officials quizzed Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai on Monday for more than five hours at Jam Nagar office in connection with the Panama Papers expose for allegedly violating FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act).
According to the ED sources the expose showed that several prominent personalities in India had floated companies in tax havens. A team of six officials including a lady official recorded her statement.
A source said that Aishwarya was asked as many as 50 questions regarding a firm reportedly incorporated by her father-in-law and Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan. The firm was incorporated in British Virgin Island. She was first the Director of the firm and then became a shareholder.
This was the third time that the actress was summoned. However, she didn’t join the probe on the earlier occasions. We had summoned her for December 20th. Abiding by the third summon, she joined the probe, said an ED official. ED had lodged a case under FEMA after the Panama Papers leak showed how companies were set up in offshore islands to avoid taxes. Aishwarya and others have been named in the case.
In 2016, the Panama Papers leak case came to the light in which Aishwarya and Bachchan family members were named. The names of Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan also cropped up in the case. In May 2005, a company was reportedly incorporated at British Virgin Island in which Aishwarya and other members of the Bachchan family were directors.
In June 2005, her post was changed and she became a shareholder in the company. After three years, the company became inactive. Later, after her name cropped up in the Panama Papers leak, an SIT was formed to probe the matter.