ED seizes property worth ₹ 36.8 crore.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized a property worth ₹ 36.8 crore belonging to Rohan Timblo, the son of Goa-based miner Radha Timblo. The property is located in Goa and belongs to Rohan Timblo’s company Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd.
The ED action comes after Rohan Timblo was named in the Pandora Papers, a massive leak of almost 12 million documents that expose the secret financial dealings of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people.
Rohan Timblo used offshore entities to hide wealth.
The ED probe found that Rohan Timblo was the sole settlor and one of the beneficiaries of the Colares Trust, which was set up in 2009 with the help of Asiaciti Trust Singapore Pte Ltd, a corporate trustee service provider. The other beneficiaries of the trust were his wife Mallika Timblo and their children.
The Colares Trust had three underlying corporate entities: Calheta Holdings Ltd, Samoa; Cazar Finance S.A, BVI; and Corylus Assets Inc, Panama. These companies were registered in tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions that offer low or no taxes, easy incorporation, and anonymity to their owners.
The ED alleged that Rohan Timblo used these offshore entities to hold his assets and income outside India without disclosing them to the Indian authorities. He also failed to pay taxes on his foreign exchange earnings, which is a violation of FEMA.
Radha Timblo’s connection to illegal mining.
Radha Timblo is a prominent Goa-based miner and owner of Timblo Pvt Ltd, one of the largest iron ore exporters in the state. She is also the mother of Rohan Timblo and a director of Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd.
Radha Timblo has been accused of being involved in illegal mining activities in Goa, which caused huge environmental damage and revenue loss to the state. She was named as one of the main accused in a report by Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which was appointed by the central government in 2010 to probe illegal mining in Goa.
The report estimated that illegal mining in Goa caused a loss of ₹ 35,000 crore to the exchequer between 2005 and 2012. It also alleged that Radha Timblo’s company was involved in exporting ore without valid permits and paying bribes to politicians and officials.
Radha Timblo has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that her company followed all the rules and regulations. She has also challenged the report in court and sought a stay on its implementation.
Implications of the Pandora Papers leak for India.
The Pandora Papers leak has exposed the hidden wealth and offshore dealings of more than 300 Indians, including politicians, businessmen, celebrities, lawyers, doctors, and journalists. Some of them are facing investigations by various agencies for alleged tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, and other crimes.
The leak has also raised questions about the effectiveness of India’s laws and regulations to curb black money and illicit financial flows. Despite several measures taken by the government in recent years, such as demonetisation, GST, income declaration schemes, and information exchange agreements with other countries, it seems that many Indians are still able to stash their money abroad through complex offshore structures.
The leak has also highlighted the need for more transparency and accountability in the global financial system, which enables the rich and powerful to exploit loopholes and hide their assets from public scrutiny. The leak has also sparked calls for reforms in tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions that facilitate tax avoidance and evasion.
The Pandora Papers leak is a wake-up call for India and the world to take action against offshore secrecy and ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.