A number of companies floated in West Bengal immediately after demonetisation period have been wound up in the past five years, as per Income Tax department sources.
Majority of these vanishing companies were shell companies floated with the definite purpose after the demonisation period from November 8, 2016 to December 30, 2016 to channelise unaccounted money to different avenues.
The findings by the Income Tax department unearthed after cross checking with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) under the Union ministry of corporate affairs is extremely significant as the probe by two central agencies --CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) -- have revealed that shell companies played an important role in channelising illegal proceeds from the two most glaring financial scams in the recent past related to West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) irregularities and cattle smuggling sting.
The two agencies, especially ED, have unearthed details of a number of companies related to the accused in the two scams named Partha Chatterjee, his close aide, Arpita Mukherjee in case of WBSSC scam and Anubrata Mondal and his daughter Sukanya Mondal in the cattle smuggling sting.
The figures of such companies floated fter the demonetisation period and the number of banishing companies in the subsequent period is quite striking.
As of march 31, 2016 the number of companies with registered offices in West Bengal was 1,18,535. The figure increased to 1,28,102 as of March 31, 2017, which means that almost ten thousand companies were floated in the state during just one year.
However, again as of March 31, 2021, the number of companies with registered offices in West Bengal came down to 1,23,617, a decline by around 5,000.
Income Tax department sources said that they are quite sure if the details of the directors and books of account of the newly floated as well as the vanishing companies are delved into, a number of companies will be traced to have links with the WBSSC and cattle smuggling scams.
"We know that studying the details of each such company is a herculean task. But as we heard that ED, which is specialized in tracking the money trail angle in financial scam, is adding up to their existing strength in the Kolkata office. So if we together adopt a methodical approach, bigger roles of the shell companies in both these scams will surely be unearthed," an Income Tax officer in Kolkata said.
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First Published: Aug 20 2022 | 2:34 PM IST