Govt receives 'vital info' on transactions of 2 lakh suspicious companies

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The Union government on Friday said the post-demonetisation transaction data from 13 banks cast suspicion on 5,800 companies with 13,140 bank accounts.

Terming it as a major breakthrough in the fight against black money and shell companies, the Ministry said the first installment of data pertains to about 5,800 companies out of the over 2 lakh that were struck off involving 13,140 accounts. Of the Rs 4,574 crore deposited across 13 banks, IDBI Bank alone accounted for deposits worth Rs 3,792 crore by 3,330 companies and withdrawals of Rs 3,793 crore during demonetisation till the companies got struck-off. So, some companies tried the simplest of tricks - open multiple bank accounts and break up the big figure into smaller amounts. Similarly in the case of another bank, more than 30,000 such companies, most having multiple accounts, have been located. At the same time, 900 companies were named after another company and 300 accounts were found in the name of another company. After separating loan accounts, these companies were having a meagre balance of Rs 22.05 cr to their credit on 8 November 2016. However, after the announcement till the date of their being struck off by Registrar of Companies, these companies have altogether deposited a whopping Rs 4,573.87 crore in their accounts and withdrawn an equally large amount of Rs 4,552 crore, the government said in the release.

Some of the firms deposited and withdrew substantial tranches of money after which they returned to dormant accounts with no activity.

The government on Friday announced that it has received "vital information" on suspicious transactions post-demonetisation. Subsequently, Rs 4,552 crore have been withdrawn, according to PTI report.

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In some cases, transactions have been recorded even after the company was struck off, the government said. "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 statement added. After being struck off, the operation of the bank accounts of these 2,09,032 suspicious companies were restricted to discharge of their liabilities. They belonged to 3,330 companies, which had a cumulative balance of Rs 13.29 crore on November 8.

This data is only about 2.5% of the total number of suspected companies that have been struck off by the government.

"This also highlights the need for Ministry of Corporate Affairs and RoC to conduct inquiries into the affairs of these companies, so too income tax and other regulatory agencies".

At Bank of Baroda one company had 915 accounts, while another had 313.

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