Post demonetisation 5,800 companies operated 13,140 suspicious accounts

The government today said it has received vital information from 13 banks regarding the bank account operations and post-demonetisation transactions of some of the 2,09,032 suspicious companies that had been struck off the register of companies earlier this year;

Investigating agencies have been asked to complete necessary investigation in a time bound manner.

It may be recalled that after being struck off, operation of the bank accounts of these 2,09,032 suspicious companies were restricted for discharge of their liabilities only.

The first installment of data provided by the 13 banks pertains to only about 5,800 companies (out of more than 2 lakh that were struck off) involving 13,140 accounts. This in itself is a revealing figure. A few of the companies have been found to have more than 100 accounts to their names, with the highest grosser among these having 2,134 accounts, followed by others having accounts in the range of 900, 300 etc.

The data pertaining to the pre demonetization account balances and transactions conducted from the accounts of these companies during the demonetization period is even more startling.

After separating the loan accounts, these companies were having a meagre balance of Rs22.05 crore to their credit on 8 November 2016.

However, from 9 November 2016, ie, after the announcement of demonetization, till the date of their being struck off, these companies have altogether deposited an amount of Rs4,573.87 crore in their accounts and withdrawn an equally large amount of Rs4,552 crore. With loan accounts, there was a negative opening balance of Rs80.79 crore.

Disturbing factors have been identified of companies having multiple accounts with miniscule or negative balance as on 8 November 2016 which have then deposited and withdrawn amounts going in several crores from these accounts. The accounts were thereafter again left as dormant accounts with paltry balance. This exercise of swindling the authorities was carried out post demonetization 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.

For example, in one of the banks, 429 companies having zero balance each as on 8 November 2016 have deposited and withdrawn over Rs11 crore and left again with a cumulative balance of just Rs42,000 as at the date of freezing.

Similarly, in the case of another bank, more than 3,000 such companies, most having multiple accounts, have been located. Starting with a cumulative balance of about Rs13 crore as of 8 November 2016, these companies have deposited and withdrawn about Rs3,800 crore, leaving a negative cumulative balance of almost Rs200 crore at the time of freezing of their accounts.

It needs to be re-emphasized that this data is only about 2.5 per cent 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.