One shell company has been found to have been operating as many as 2,134 accounts while many others had in excess of 100 accounts each, according to the details submitted with the government by banks after an initial scrutiny of 5,800 of the almost 2.1 lakh firms struck off from the register of companies as part of a crackdown against channels of black money after the note ban.
This is the first tranche of data involving 13,140 accounts of the shell firms submitted by 13 banks and more will follow, the ministry of corporate affairs said in a statement on Friday. The government hasn’t named any of these firms but their accounts are now being closely scrutinised for suspicious transactions.
Importantly, such firms having multiple accounts with minuscule or negative balance before demonetisation have then deposited and again withdrawn amounts running into several hundred crores from these accounts. Later, the accounts were again left dormant with paltry balances. For instance, after separating the loan accounts, these firms had a meagre balance of Rs 22 crore to their credit on November 8 last year when demonetisation was announced.
However, between then and September this year when they were struck off, these companies had deposited as much as Rs 4,573.87 crore in their accounts and withdrawn an equally large amount of Rs 4,552 crore.
“…this exercise of swindling the authorities was carried out post-demonetisation till the companies were struck off. In some cases, certain companies have gone more adventurous and made deposits and withdrawals even after being struck off,” the ministry said in the statement.
Similarly another bank has reported that more than 3,000 such companies, having a cumulative balance of about Rs 13 crore as on November 8, 2016, deposited and later withdrew about Rs 3,800 crore, leaving a negative cumulative balance of almost Rs 200 crore at the time of the freezing of their accounts.