The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched one of its biggest crackdowns on shell companies and carried out searches across 100 locations across India. ED has so far managed to uncover over 2300 shell companies, and in Delhi and Mumbai alone the agency discovered over 1000 companies. 

ED has over 400 entry operators and chartered accountants on its radar against whom the action is likely to be taken. Industries connected to Mayawati's brother Anand, Jagan Mohan Reddy and Maharashtra politician Chhaggan Bhujbal are among target companies. 

Investigations have found that almost all these companies were founded after November 8, announcement of demonetization. The shell companies are alleged to have transferred ₹1000 and ₹500 notes during the period and are also suspected to be involved in money laundering. Initial reports are that the companies are suspected to have converted several hundred crores black money to white. 

The raids were carried out under Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Bhubaneswar. Nearly 50 persons are under the scanner. The crack down on shell companies in Mumbai are found to be linked with ₹870 crore Maha Sadan scam involving former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and ₹1500 crore money laundering case involving diamond trading company Rajeshwar Export. 

ED has also found out that main controller of shell companies is Jagdish Purohit, a resident of Andheri, who has been named in Maha Sadan scam. He is also the director of one of Bhujbal's companies. He is alleged to have been running over 700 shell companies under one address and 20 dummy directors. It is alleged that he alone converted ₹50 crore for Bhujbal. The probe also revealed that Ritesh Jain of Rajeshwar Export converted ₹2 crore. 

The raids will continue for few more days.