Aishwarya Rai appears before ED in Panama Papers leak case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued summons to actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan asking her to appear in front of its officials for questioning. And it seems she has reached their Delhi office for the same. Though nothing is clear yet, some reports say it is related to the Panama Papers leak case, which had surfaced way back in April 2016.
Aishwarya has been accused of money laundering, and ED has already registered a case against her. Her husband, actor Abhishek Bachchan might be called in as well, said reports. The 48-year-old was summoned earlier too, but she had twice asked for more time.
In April 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), working with publications around the world, had revealed 11.5 million records detailing offshore holdings of many former and present world leaders, businessmen, criminals, celebrities, and players. At its heart was Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, which controlled these operations. Over 500 Indians had been named too. Naturally, most denied the allegations.
Two years after the leak, Panama Papers: The Aftermath came out which flashed what Mossack Fonseca and its clients did after the leak. It had named PVR owner Ajay Bijli and his family members; Hike CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal; Jalaj Ashwin Dani, son of Asian Paints promoter Ashwin Dani; megastar Amitabh Bachchan; Shiv Khemka (SUN Group); KP Singh (DLF Group); and Anurag Kejriwal (politician).
In its communication after April 2016, Mossack Fonseca had named the Deewar star as director of Lady Shipping and Treasure Shipping, while serving him notice. These notices came through the UK-based Minerva Trust—the administrator of these companies—addressing Bachchan as the director of a third company, Sea Bulk Shipping Company. When his name emerged first, Bachchan had denied everything, but The Aftermath did him in.
This probably explains the Devdas actor's connection to this case or there may be more to it. In 2017, reports said Bachchan and his family might be summoned by the ED for questioning, but there was no clarity if it took place. And now, Aishwarya getting called in for interrogation is a clear indication that it is happening and the case is moving forward.