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Pramod Mittal Finds Mention in Pandora Papers

Billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal’s younger brother Pramod Mittal, who was declared bankrupt by a UK court last year, himself allegedly controlled the two biggest creditors that led approval for this settlement offer by paying only 0.19% of what he owed to creditors, Pandora Papers investigation shows.

Pandora Papers is a leak of almost 12 million documents that reveal hidden wealth, tax avoidance and, in some cases, money laundering by some of the world’s rich and powerful.

As per the leaked financial documents, Mittal is the beneficiary of trusts that own Direct Investment Ltd – a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company to which Mittal claimed he owed more than 1 billion – and Meads Well Estates Ltd, another BVI company that he said owned his London residence, an investigative report by the Indian Express showed.

While facing bankruptcy proceeding in the UK, Mittal claimed zero income, total assets of less than 150,000 and denied ownership of his long-time London residence.

He sought Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in which he offered to pay 4.4 million, or 0.19% of the around 2.5 billion that he claimed he owed to 20 creditors.

The IVA was approved by 75% of Mittal’s creditors in October last year.

The UK’s Moorage Industries, one of the creditors with a demand for 130 million, had alleged that Mittal’s family members appeared to be shareholders in some companies that had approved the “shameful” agreement in bad faith, the investigative report said. The Pandora Papers have confirmed this, it added.

These leaked data were obtained by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC, which has been working with more than 140 media organizations on its biggest ever global investigation.

Mittal and the company’s spokesperson could not be reached until press time Tuesday.

This is not the first time Pramod Mittal has found himself in trouble. In 2012, his firm’s Global Steel Holdings Ltd (GSHI) and Global Steel Philippines Inc. had defaulted on payments of around $348 million-plus interest to State Trading Corporation of India (STCI), prompting the state-owned company to file various cases against Mittal and the companies.

In 2019, his brother LN Mittal helped Pramod Mittal clear his dues to STCI. S-ET

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