**New Delhi/Bhubaneswar:** Suspecting their involvement in dubious transactions during demonetization since November 8 midnight, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted simultaneous raids on 110 shell companies across the country, an official said.
According to an ED official, these companies were suspected to be involved in dubious and illegal transactions during demonetisation.
Shell companies are set up by nominal paid-up capital, high reserves and surplus on account of receipt of high share premium, investment in unlisted companies, no dividend income, high cash in hand, private companies as majority shareholders, low turnover and operating income, nominal expenses, nominal statutory payments and stock in trade and minimum fixed asset.
“Several top business houses being searched in various cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Chandigarh, Patna, Ranchi, Ahmedabad Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata,” the official told IANS.
The raids are being carried out under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate instances of money laundering and illegal foreign exchange transactions.
The country-wide operation and conduct of searches at 110 locations was in sixteen states including Odisha, sources said.
Notably, a Special Task Force (STF) was recently created in the ED following directives issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).