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Tax haven trusts come under probe for Swiss accounts

New Delhi: A number of trusts set up in overseas tax havens using a complex maze of entities have come under the scanner of Indian and Swiss authorities for suspected tax evasion by parking of illicit funds in Switzerland-based banks, as per notices issued to those entities.

In addition, several individuals who are suspected to have moved abroad after evading taxes back in India are also being probed and their banking details are in the process of being shared by the Swiss authorities with their Indian counterparts.

As per the notices published in Switzerland's federal gazette over the past one month, these individuals, including some businessmen, as also trusts based in Cayman Islands and companies have been asked to appoint their nominees in case they want to appeal against sharing of their banking details with India.

Trusts, especially those set up in jurisdictions like Cayman Islands, Panama and British Virgin Islands, have often been seen as routes for evading taxes.

Those named in these notices include businessman Atul Punj, Gautam Khaitan, Satish Kalra, Vinod Kumar Khanna, Dullabhbhai Kunverji Vaghela, Revaben Dullabhai Kunverji Vaghela and Balwantkumar Dullababhai Vaghela.

In some cases, the persons named in the notices are reported to have died already and their heirs have been asked to respond to the notices.

The Cayman Islands-based trusts named in such notices include The P Devi Children's Trust, The P Devi Trust, The Dinod Trust and The Agarwal Family Trust.

Similar notices have also been issued in the names of Cayman-based Devi Limited and India-based Aadhi Enterprises Pvt Limited, among others.