Ranjan Pai of Manipal University listed in Paradise Papers

 


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Ranjan Ramdas Pai of Manipal University, GMR Group and entertainment major Eros are among the new individual and entities that surfaced in the latest release of Paradise Papers.

The documents from two companies in Bermuda (Appleby) and Singapore (Asiatici Trust) publicised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its India partner Indian Express showed that several corporates opened offshore entities. According to the documents, there are 714 Indians and companies.

The ICIJ has said that all transactions cannot be termed illegal.

Pai, who runs a chain of educational institutions, is said to have set up offshore entities in Mauritius to raise capital. The Appleby documents showed that Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) set up in Mauritius was the vehicle for Pai to operate a number of collaterals against assets which were pledged with premier banks in more than one country.

The MEMG runs six colleges, including four abroad and 16 hospitals. It has Pai and his wife Shruti as directors. Between 2002-2003, it picked up collaterals - listed as four charges - worth Rs 87 crore from Indian banks and between 2006-2011, it got another 15 charges from foreign banks.

In his response, Pai said investments made by him in MEMG have been disclosed to Income Tax Department and all investments made by MEMG into India were declared and necessary approvals were obtained from the RBI. He also said some of the charges have been repaid while some are still being repaid.

The documents, the ICIJ and Indian Express reported that GMR Group created a web of 28 offshore companies to drive expansion. These firms were opened in 10 jurisdictions, including Mauritius and Isle of Man, Spain, Singapore and Malta. The GMR Group said these were set up within permissible regulations both domestically and overseas.

An email publicised as part of the Paradise Papers showed that Eros was among 12 firms that used Isle of Man to open holding companies for listing in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

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