Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Monday refuted reports that a person banned by the Securities and Exchange Board of India for being involved in insider trading is the “protector” of an offshore trust set up by her husband John Shaw’s company.
“I would like to state that these stories have grossly misrepresented the facts,” she said.
Shaw was responding to an investigative report about offshore entities, first published in India by The Indian Express on Sunday.
The global investigation is based on confidential documents, dubbed as “Pandora Papers”, from 14 offshore service firms that allegedly set up shell companies for clients seeking to keep their financial activities discreet.
These documents were leaked to Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. It shared access to the leaked data with a host of media partners including The Guardian, BBC Panorama and The Washington Post. The Indian Express conducted the Indian portion of the investigations.
In India, the list of people who allegedly used global tax havens to hide their assets from government scrutiny included businessperson Anil Ambani and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.
It also emerged from the investigation that a person named Kunal Kashyap is the “protector” of the Deanstone Trust, which was set up by John Shaw’s company Glentec International in New Zealand in 2015.
Kashyap had been barred from trading in the Indian stock markets for a year in July for being involved in insider trading of Biocon’s shares.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said in a filing on Monday that Kashyap was only an advisor to her husband and Glentec. “In his capacity as an advisor, he is in no position nor has the legal authority to either control or influence the trust,” she said.
The Biocon chairperson added: “He [Kashyap] is neither a settlor, trustee, beneficiary nor a protector of the trust. His role reported as a protector of the trust, in media reports is factually incorrect.”
Shaw said that the Deanstone Trust was set up for “philanthropic endowments and for the purpose of estate planning for both John Shaw’ and my family members”.
She added that the independent trustees, who are foreign nationals, manage the trust. “Both John Shaw and I are neither trustees, nor settlors, nor beneficiaries of this trust,” Shaw said.
Shaw said that the family members who are the beneficiaries of the trust are also foreign nationals. “Philanthropic beneficiaries of the trust are mainly academic institutions and contributions/ endowments made to them are all in the public domain,” she added.
The Biocon chairperson added that no Indian citizen held the key to the offshore trust. “These are completely baseless accusations,” she said. “Both John Shaw and I are law abiding citizens and have always been in compliance with all the applicable regulations.”
Shaw also said that her husband’s company Glentec is a bonafide establishment. “Glentec is audited as per statutes and full disclosure of its dividend income from Indian companies is made,” she added.