One more from Karnataka figures in Panama list

One more from Karnataka figures in Panama list

One more from Karnataka figures in Panama list

A Karnataka-based iron ore exporter, who was mentioned in the Justice M B Shah report on illegal mining, is among the new names that emerged in the controversial Panama Papers.

Prasanna V Ghotage of PVG Group, who was in jail on cheating charges, and his associate Vaman Kumar are linked to an offshore company floated in British Virgin Islands (BVI), according to the documents. The PVG Group had operated over 3,000 trucks to transport iron ore from Bellary district.

Ghotage, who hails from Belgaum, and Kumar could not be reached for their comments.

The ICIJ and its partners, including Indian Express, has published the Panama Papers claiming that around 11.5 million documents sourced from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca showed that it helped people across the globe, including around 500 Indians, open offshore companies to protect their wealth.

Ghotage, his wife and Kumar were shareholders in Nordbell Commercial Ltd, an offshore company in BVI set up in 2007, Indian Express said quoting documents.

Ghotage's late mother was also once a shareholder in the company.

According to documents, Ghotage and his mother had sold 12,000 shares to Kumar, who is said to be an expert in international trade and global commodity.Ghotage (49) was named by Justice Shah in his report on illegal mining in 2013. The report said Ghotage exported iron ore mined in Goa to China but under invoiced iron it.

He was arrested and chargesheeted by Goa Police last year on charges of cheating after he failed to supply iron ore to a Raipur firm. He was earlier arrested in Chhattisgarh. According to sources, he had cases against him in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa.

Other new names in the Panama Papers include Niira Radia, businessmen S K Modi and M S Prasad.

Radia, the lobbyist who had shot to limelight after leakage of her calls with prominent personalities known as Radia tapes, managed an offshore account, the Panama Papers claimed. The offshore company linked to Radia was Crownmart International Group Ltd registered in BVI. There are resolutions until June 2004 which are signed by her, it said. The company’s name was taken off Mossack Fonseca list in 2009.

Modi, chairman of Modi Global Enterprises, is said to have two offshore companies in BVI. Modi's spokesperson has said all laws were complied with. ICIJ said all offshore companies in the list may not be illegal and there are legitimate ones also.  

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