Bollywood's 'Big B' in Paradise Papers hell

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan finds himself caught in an unwanted spotlight again, a year after his name was mentioned in the Panama Papers tax-haven expose.

The Indian Express newspaper reported on Monday that the actor figures in the so-called Paradise Papers, a fresh investigation into offshore and banking assets carried out with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Bachchan wrote an anguished post on his blog on Sunday, saying "Tomorrow there could be more and the process of co-operation (with authorities) shall continue", before adding that he wished to be left alone at this stage of his life.

The 75-year-old actor also talked about the controversy over his name featuring in the Panama Papers leak.

"In recent months I find my name appear again in the leaks of Panama, as produced by the Indian Express ... the paper has asked for reactions, for responses, for justification or not, for replies to their investigative queries."

The actor said two "instant replies" were given out by him of "denial and misuse of name" but the questions continued.

"Immediately after this, the system took over and since its revelation in the Express, has summoned me... at least 6 summons have been served to us and continue to come...

"Each one of them have been diligently, dutifully and duly replied to... personal appearances have been ordered, and we have made them at the varied different Agency Offices, both in Mumbai and in Delhi, both from Tax and Enforcement Departments and of their respective Intelligence Wings," Bachchan said.

The actor said some queries take time as the matter is more than 25 years old."It takes a while to dig out old files and to compile all that they want... the fullest co-operation has been extended at all hours as dutiful citizens... and even after, if there is any more query that needs to be addressed, we shall comply.

"It is the norm," he said.

The actor also spoke about allegations against his family and him in the Bofors arms-deal scandal of the 1980s and '90s.

"There were allegations against my family and me in the Bofors Scandal... for years we were grilled, declared traitors, abused and humiliated by the hour for several years... when it became unbearable, we moved Court in the United Kingdom - for the requirement of speedy Justice .. we moved against a UK paper and won...," he said, adding while he suffered, those who accused him never faced anything.

The actor said it took 25 years for him to know that his name was planted in the scandal.

"When the media carried the news here in India, the press during one of its interactions with me asked me what I was going to do about it ... whether I would seek information on who did it, or seek retribution .. !!! WHAT RETRIBUTION AND INFORMATION WILL I SEEK ..? WILL IT TAKE AWAY THE YEARS OF SUFFERING AND MENTAL TORTURE THAT WE WENT THROUGH .. !!?? WILL IT CURE .. WILL IT REST .. ?? NO IT WILL NOT .. so I told them, the media, I do not wish to make any comment on it ... the matter is over for me."

Paradise Papers: Here are the rich and famous who are caught up in the leak so far

  • Amitabh Bachchan is one of the Bollywood stars to be mentioned in the leak.
  • Leaked documents show he invested in a Lithuanian shopping centre which may have broken tax rules.
  • She had bought shares in a medical supplies firm. She had also invested in a firm that gained from taxes on virtually non-existent capital gains.
  • She was domiciled in the Bahamas for tax reasons and transferred 31.6 million euros (S$50 million) earned in royalties to Malta.
  • She is said to have invested in a Jersey-based real estate firm.
  • He avoided paying taxes on a private jet, receiving a 3.3 million pound (S$5.9 million) VAT refund in 2013 after it was imported into the Isle of Man, a low-tax British Crown Dependency.
  • She has, through the Duchy of Lancaster which provides her income and handles her investments, placed around 10 million pounds (S$18 million) of her private money in funds held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
  • The funds were reinvested in an array of businesses, including controversial rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse which has been accused of exploiting the poor.
  • He invested millions of pounds in offshore funds and businesses, including a Bermuda-based sustainable forestry company once run by a close friend.
  • It shifted much of its offshore wealth from Ireland to the Jersey tax haven in the British Isles to adapt to the tightening of Irish tax laws in 2015.
  • It used a loophole in Dutch fiscal law to reduce, via two companies based in the Netherlands, its tax rate in Europe to just two per cent compared to the 25 per cent average for European companies.
  • Uber allegedly used similar methods to Nike.
  • The manufacturer of Botox allegedly used similar methods to Nike.
  • Mr Prabowo's Nusantara Energy Resources, which was established on the British island territory in 2001, was closed by 2004, according to Appleby's records.
  • Mr Naito said: "I was introduced to what was described as a valuable foreign investment opportunity. I did not know it was based in a tax haven."
  • He was among a handful of former Diet members said to have ties to tax havens in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
  • The probes showed "that after he sold his United Spirits Limited India (USL) to the Diageo group in 2013, Diageo approached a London-based law firm Linklaters LLP to undertake a massive restructuring exercise to simplify the complex group structure created by Mallya".
  • According to the report in Indian Express, Sinha was the managing director of Omidyar Network when the company invested in a US company D-Light Design, which has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Facebook and Twitter received major investments from a firm with ties to Kremlin-owned corporations, helmed by the Russian billionaire.
  • The heir to the Seagram fortune moved some US$60 million (S$82 million) to an offshore haven in the Cayman Islands.
  • He holds a 31 per cent stake in maritime transport company Navigator Holdings through a complex web of offshore investments.