Offshore footprint found in the origins of IPL Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab teams
INVESTMENTS from offshore entities in Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees Royal Multisport Private Ltd (owners of Rajasthan Royals) and KPH Dream Cricket Private Ltd (owners of Kings XI Punjab), which sparked a feud in 2010 and led upon their temporary expulsion from the league, find their fingerprints in the Pandora Papers.
The internal documents of the Panamanian business service company Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee Trust (BVI) Limited or Alcogal, which have established entities in the British Virgin Islands, establish the ownership of these IPL franchisees in whole or in part with of Indian British citizens, and are related to Lalit Modi who founded IPL.
The documents reveal Gaurav Burman, a fifth generation descendant of the Burmese family of Dabur and husband of Lalit Modi’s stepdaughter Karima, with franchisee Kings XI Punjab. And also that of Indian businessman in Nigeria, Suresh Chellaram, whose wife Kavita is the sister of Lalit Modi’s late wife, Minal, with franchisee Rajasthan Royals.
It wasn’t just the investment of offshore entities in franchisees that raised eyebrows after the IPL was founded in 2008 with plans to host 20-format cricket tournaments. It was a plus. big battle between the Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) and Lalit Modi who had suddenly become a parallel center of power and allegedly channeled investments to these franchisees through people close to him.
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Gaurav Burman, according to Alcogal documents, had loaned $ 2 million to Bantree International Ltd, a BVI company, “for the purpose of making a shareholder loan” to its Mauritius subsidiary Colway Investments Ltd. Colway, in turn, was a shareholder of KPH Dream. Locust.
KPH Dream Cricket’s financial statements for 2008-09 submitted to the Registrar of Companies showed that Colway held 4,47,700 shares (acquired at a premium of Rs 104.27 each for a total consideration of Rs 5.11 crore) in the franchisee .
When contacted, Burman told The Indian Express: “Everything relating to KPH Kings XI has been fully investigated by the BCCI and the Law Enforcement Branch. The BCCI had in fact terminated our franchise. We went to court and won this case. Our franchise has been restored.
Alcogal’s documents also reveal that Chellaram was the sole shareholder of Tresco International Ltd, a BVI company, which in turn held 44.15% in EM Sporting Holdings, a Mauritius company, owner of Royal Multisport. Royal Multisport’s latest financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2020, show EM Sporting Holdings Limited as the holding entity of the company with an almost 100 percent stake.
Alcogal’s documents show that Tresco’s UBOs were Suresh Chellaram’s wife, Kavita, son Aditya, and daughter Amisha. Responding to questions, he confirmed that his wife and two children were shareholders of Tresco when she was active.
“Tresco transferred its stake in the Rajasthan Royals before being liquidated. Tresco made all relevant filings and disclosures in all relevant jurisdictions until its liquidation, ”he said.
The UBOs – Gaurav Burman and the three members of the Chellaram family – of the two offshore entities Bantree and Tresco, respectively, are of British nationality. Burman’s UK address, according to the country’s land register, is freehold owned by Elephant Services Limited, another BVI company, since March 15, 2010. Burman is the UBO of Elephant Services , according to Alcogal’s records.