It was unlikely shelf companies were being set up to benefit their owners in the May elections, an anti-corruption official said yesterday. Concerns emerged last month when the Sunday Morning Post revealed that shelf companies set up by property tycoons gave them extra votes in the functional constituencies election. But Teresa Wu Pui-wah, chief investigator in the Independent Commission Against Corruption's Operations Department, said the fears were unfounded. 'There are so many new companies registered every day. I wonder if they are for votes,' she said. Ms Wu said buying votes by setting up shelf companies was not easy. 'Even if they want to rig votes, there are a lot of things they have to do. For example, they have to prove their relationship with specific associations in the functional constituencies. New companies thus cannot buy votes,' she said. Rosanna Ure Lui Hang-sai, the ICAC's Director of Community Relations, declined to say whether the system was to blame. She also declined to say whether there was a greater danger of corruption because of the huge reduction in the number of functional constituency voters. The ICAC was preparing a campaign against bribery and vote-buying, she said. A 20-member team would be deployed to promote a clean election by briefing candidates and election agents on the laws.