The Centre on Friday said it had zeroed in on 5,800 shell companies that allegedly laundered money after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes were demonetised last year. The government made the announcement after 13 banks submitted data on post-demonetisation transactions of some of the 2 lakh companies that were struck off the Registrar of Companies earlier this year.

According to the data, these companies had negative or zero balance when the demonetisation exercise was announced in November 2016, but they carried out transactions worth crores after the note ban, a government statement said. Deposits worth nearly Rs 4,574 crore were made in accounts of these firms after demonetisation, and Rs 4,552 crore was withdrawn, The Economic Times reported.

“These 13 banks have submitted their first installment of data,” the government statement said. “The data received from them pertains to merely about 5,800 companies involving 13,140 accounts. This, in itself, is a revealing figure.” Some of the companies have more than 100 accounts in their name, reported Mint. One of the firms has 2,134 accounts.