Hyderabad: The Panama Papers mentions the name of industrialist Motaparti Siva Rama Vara Prasad thrice, for having offshore companies in Ghana and Togo in Africa.
Mr Prasad has been linked with entities called MP Holdings Associates Limited, Ballyward Limit-ed and Bitchemy Ventures Limited. Several companies wherein he is a beneficiary are registered or have jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Ecuador, Ghana and Panama.
Mr Prasad is an NRI who owns a vast business empire and is director of several companies based in Hyderabad. He is also a director of Heritage Foods, which is run by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s family.
Asked about his name figuring in the Panama Papers, Mr Prasad told this paper: “I am an NRI based in Ghana. I have been living outside India for 30 years. I do have companies in Panama. I started business in 1985 and I own several companies, mostly cement factories, including in Ghana and Togo. I have companies in the US too. They are all holding companies and are genuine. I am an engineer and a professional.”
Asked whether Mossack Fonseca were his agents, he said, “I don’t know. Usually the process of formation of companies is dealt with by accountants and lawyers. I don’t know which agent they retained. We establish companies wherever the cost is less. There is nothing new in setting up offshore companies.”
He added that he was only an independent director with Heritage Foods. Mr Prasad’s son Sunil Motaparti of Bitchemy Ventures invested $6 million in start-ups based in Hyderabad and the US.