Trade documents accessed by The Caravan from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore and the Cayman Islands show that the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s younger son, Vivek Doval, runs a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands, an established tax haven. This hedge fund was registered merely 13 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government demonetised all existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, in 2016. Vivek Doval’s business is linked inextricably to businesses run by his brother Shaurya Doval, a Bharatiya Janata Party politician who heads the India Foundation, a think tank that enjoys close proximity to the Modi government. That Vivek Doval runs an offshore hedge fund based out of a tax haven is notable in light of the established public position taken by his father—in 2011, Ajit Doval authored a report that advocated a strict crackdown on tax havens and offshore entities.
Vivek Doval, a chartered financial analyst who is a citizen of the UK and resides in Singapore, is the director of the hedge fund, named GNY Asia Fund. According to July 2018 document, Don W Ebanks and Mohamed Althaf Musliam Veetil are directors as well. Ebanks is named in the Paradise Papers—a leaked database of over 13 million documents regarding offshore entities—as the director of two firms, both registered in the Cayman Islands. He was formerly employed with the Cayman Islands government, and advised its finance secretary and cabinet ministers. Mohamed Althaf is a regional director for the Lulu Group International, which operates one of the fastest growing chains of hypermarkets in West Asia. The legal address of GNY Asia fund shows that it is under the care of Walkers Corporate Limited, a firm that finds a mention in the Paradise Papers as well as the Panama Papers, another leaked database that includes attorney-client information of millions of offshore entities.
The Caravan found administrative interlinks between Vivek’s firms and those run by his elder brother Shaurya Doval—several employees working for Shaurya’s businesses in India are closely involved with GNY Asia and entities connected to it. The overlaps between the brothers’ businesses indicate a larger financial universe run by them, with companies that are connected to the House of Saud, the ruling dynasty in Saudi Arabia.
In 2011, Ajit Doval, who was formerly a director of the Intelligence Bureau, submitted a report to the Bharatiya Janata Party, titled, “Indian Black Money Abroad: In Secret Banks and Tax Havens.” Among Doval’s co-authors was S Gurumurthy, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue who is currently serving as a director of the Reserve Bank of India. The report calls for a fierce crackdown on tax havens.