Paradise Papers: All transactions were fully disclosed, says Sinha

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Union Minister Jayant Sinha
Union Minister Jayant Sinha

New Delhi : Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Monday defended himself through a series of tweets after his name appeared in the "Paradise Papers" leak.

Sinha said all transactions related to him which have been mentioned in the Indian Express investigation were "fully disclosed" to relevant authorities and were done in his "official capacity, not personal".

The "Paradise Papers" are a set of 13.4 million leaked financial documents from law firm -- Appleby -- on investments of major multi-national corporations (MNCs) and that of well known individuals in India and abroad in tax havens.

The German newspaper -- Süddeutsche Zeitung -- obtained the documents and subsequently shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The Express carried out the investigation in the case of 714 Indian links. 

Express reported that law firm Appleby records showed that Sinha did not disclose his relationship with Omidyar Network and D. Light Design's board to the Election Commission.

"Full details have been provided to Indian Express. These were bonafide and legal transactions undertaken on behalf of highly reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as Partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D.Light Board," Sinha tweeted.

He also said: "All these transactions have been fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required. After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D.Light Board as an Independent Director. On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from the D.Light Board and severed my involvement with the company."

"It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D.Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose," Sinha added.

According to the Express report, Sinha worked with Omidyar Network as its Managing Director in India. Omidyar Network invested in a US company D.Light Design which has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. But he did not mention this in his declaration to the Election Commission when he contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, nor to the Lok Sabha Secretariat or the Prime Minister's Office as a Minister of State.

The Indian Express report said: "D.Light Design Inc was founded in 2006 in San Francisco, California and has a subsidiary of the same name in Cayman Islands. Sinha joined Omidyar Network in September 2009 and resigned in December 2013. Omidyar Network invested in D.Light Design which took a loan of USD 3 million through its Cayman Islands subsidiary from an investor based in the Netherlands -- Appleby records mention a loan agreement dated December 31, 2012. Sinha was Director at D.Light Design when these decisions were taken."