The Income-Tax (I-T) department on Tuesday conducted on-the-spot enquiries at the premises of at least 12 companies here. The media reported that these firms, which invested in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari’s Purti group, are shell companies.

The I-T officials are also looking into whether they are shell companies. Officials said that at a few addresses, carpenters were found making furniture, which may be an attempt to show the place as an office.

“We are examining the records of these companies and are recording the statements of those who own them. We have conducted enquiries at 12 addresses in the city provided by these companies. Such enquiries are being conducted at various places throughout the country, including in Nagpur, Kolkata and Thane,” a senior I-T official told The Hindu.

The authorities have so far recorded the statements of 13 persons mentioned as ‘directors’ of these companies. The firms have been asked to show their source of income.

Officials said they were started with a capital of about Rs. 2000 or Rs. 3000 and later, large investments were made in them. The department suspects that most of those named as ‘directors’ are labourers or security guards.

Recently, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal had made serious allegations against Mr. Gadkari for alleged irregularities in the companies in which he holds stakes.