5,800 shell cos under lens for suspicious deposits

5,800 shell cos under lens for suspicious deposits

The data mining of about 5,800 shell companies out of over two lakh, struck off last month, has shown that their almost-zero balance accounts had Rs 4,574 crore of deposits. Post-note ban, accounts showed Rs 4,552 crore of withdrawals.

At least 13 banks have shared information with the government according to which some companies were found to have more than 100 accounts to their names. A particular firm had 2,134 accounts.

At least 2,09,032 suspicious companies had been struck off by the Registrar of Companies in September, this year, “Disturbing facts about companies having multiple accounts with minuscule or negative balance as on November 8, 2016, which have then deposited and withdrawn amounts going in several crores from these accounts, has come to light,” Ministry of Corporate Affairs said on Friday. It said, “In some cases, certain companies have gone more adventurous and made deposits and withdrawals even after being struck off.”

For example, in one of the banks, 429 companies having zero balance each as on November 8, 2016, have deposited and withdrawn over Rs 11 crore, and left again with a cumulative balance of just Rs 42,000, as on the date of freezing. Similarly in the case of another bank, more than 30,000 such companies, most having multiple accounts, have been located. From having a cumulative balance of about Rs 13 crore as on November 8, 2016, these companies have deposited and withdrawn about Rs 3,800 crore, leaving a negative cumulative balance of almost Rs 200 crore at the time of freezing of their accounts, the ministry said in a statement.

The data is only about 2.5% of the total number of suspected companies that have been struck off by the government. “The huge money game played by these companies may well be the tip of an iceberg of corruption, black money and black deeds of these and many more of their brethren. The investigative agencies have been asked to complete necessary investigation in a time-bound manner,” the ministry said.

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