The Pandora Papers show that corporate lobbyist Niira (Nira) Radia is a “must-do customer” of business services firm Trident Trust Company BVI, which has conducted its offshore transactions through Sanjay Newatia, a former Credit Suisse banker based in London.
Radia, including name appeared earlier in the Panama Papers and Paradise papers, appears again in the Pandora Papers with a dozen offshore companies and a more detailed account of transactions executed by those companies, including the purchase of a $ 251,500 watch in Dubai through one of its BVI companies .
Radia, according to the documents, is linked to companies such as Irthema Associates Limited; Roxbury Estates Limited; Elmashe Holdings Limited; Thyere Investments Limited; Malaga Overseas Limited; Collets Trading Limited; Kingston International Limited; Himlen Trading SA; Zilla Limited; Koios Holding Limited; Mehone Consultants Limited; and Nyine Holdings Ltd.
Trident Trust documents relating to Elmashe Holdings, Thyere, Zilla, Koios, Mehone and Nyine listed Radia as the main client of these offshore companies with its agricultural address at Chattarpur in Delhi.
Newatia did not respond to a question from the Indian Express but in an email response Radia said: “I am alarmed and deeply distressed by another attempt by the Indian Express to defame my image. It is obvious that your questions are an example of adventurous journalism. I have no stake in any of the companies mentioned in your letter; I do not recognize any of these companies, nor do I recognize the transactions you referred to … For the sake of completeness,
I must also state that I have always made true and accurate disclosures to all relevant authorities. My sister Karuna has never even heard of these companies you mentioned. Mr. Jehangir Pocha passed away in 2014 and we have no knowledge of his personal affairs.
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Radia was at the center of a controversy in 2010 over intercepted phone conversations known as Radia Tapes and suggested she was using her proximity to certain journalists and politicians to try to influence ministerial appointments in the PAU. II.
Subsequently, Radia came under the scanners of several investigative agencies. In 2011, she closed her public relations firm Vaishnavi Corporate Communications.
However, it was not the only company that was shut down by Radia following the controversy.
The Pandora Papers show that in January 2011, Radia instructed Trident Trust to close a Credit Suisse bank account at Roxbury Estates and transfer $ 97,860 from her account to another account, controlled by Radia through Irthema Associates, in the Zurich branch of the same bank. .
This transfer request was accompanied by an instruction to “do not contact the beneficial owner (Radia Nira)”, as she is a “do not contact client” of Trident Trust.
Roxbury Estates, according to the company’s incorporation documents, was established in January 2008 with Radia as the sole beneficial owner and Guardian Nominees Ltd, a Nevis, West Indies company, as the company’s nominee. In August 2009, Roxbury became a shareholder in a Cypriot company and helped it open a bank account.
Apart from that, Pandora Papers records reveal that Radia’s sister and business partner, Karuna Menon, and associate of Radia Jehangir Pocha, a former reporter named in the Radia Tapes controversy, have also set up offshore companies with Trident Trust. .
Menon owns Tineos Ventures Limited and Pocha of Magnitude Enterprises Limited. The Trident Trust tagged Menon and Pocha’s accounts with Radia. Pocha died in 2014.
Trident Trust documents also show that in April 2009 Radia used Collets Trading to execute two transactions. The first, a payment of $ 500,000 to Hong Kong-based Fortune Exports, for marketing and consulting services, and the second, $ 251,500 to purchase a diamond watch from Diamond Infinity DMCC. The purchase of the diamond watch even sparked a conversation among Trident Trust employees about Radia’s jewelry collection.
“..She (Radia) really has amazing jewelry, I meet her when she comes to London…” said a Trident Trust employee during the execution of the deal.
According to records, in July 2009 Radia purchased 100,000 pounds of shares of Unitech Corporate Parks Plc, a UK subsidiary of Unitech Ltd, at a cap of 20 pence per share through Kingston International.
In 2012, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) began investigating the role of Radia and its companies in a Rs 1,700 crore deal between Tata Group and Unitech in 2007.
This probe was a spin-off from a larger investigation into the Radia gangs. In March 2014, the SFIO informed the Supreme Court that it was considering suing the Radia company for alleged violation of company law. The agency has yet to sue the companies.