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India steps up scrutiny of shell firms after currency ban

Nearly 200,000 shell companies shut; database being assembled to nail down beneficiaries

The Mercantile office building at 9/12 Lalbazar Street in Kolkata. More than 400 companies listed their address in this dimly-lit colonial-era building.


WHEN India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned high-denomination currency bills in a surprise move late last year, authorities noticed a surge in shell companies depositing cash in banks, seemingly in a bid to hide who owned that wealth.

The moment, said a top aide to Mr...

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