Several companies owned hundreds of bank accounts during demonetization!
The government has said that 13 banks have furnished information regarding post-demonetization transactions by a whopping 5,800 suspicious companies. Since November 8, over Rs. 4,574cr has been deposited in 13,140 bank accounts belonging to these companies. Rs. 4,552cr has been withdrawn. In fact, in the first installment, banks flagged 2,09,032 suspect companies earlier this year. All were struck off the Registrar of Companies.
The details are shocking: many companies were found to have 300-900 bank accounts. One had as many as 2,134! On November 8, most accounts had paltry or negative balance: about 3,000 companies had a combined balance of Rs. 22cr in multiple accounts. During demonetization, most deposited amounts in crores and then withdrew them, leaving the accounts dormant again with negligible balance.
From Rs. 22cr on November 8, the total amount deposited by these companies reached Rs. 4,573.87cr; Rs. 4,552cr was withdrawn. Most continued transactions till they were struck off; some even continued later. Many accounts have been restricted. At the time of freezing, the negative balance was almost Rs. 200cr. This data is just from 2.5% of dubious companies.
The government has directed investigative agencies to complete the probe urgently. Already many accounts have been frozen, suspended or restricted. Over 2,00,000 companies were struck off the Registrar of Companies earlier in 2017. Once the investigations are done, action is expected against more firms.