Airports tighten security as Nagaland alerts banks after cash haul
The Nagaland government has alerted banks across the state about possible deposit of unaccounted cash even as the union home ministry instructed all airports and airstrips across the country to check movement of demonetised bank notes.
The developments follow the seizure of Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised notes from a businessman who flew into Dimapur in a chartered plane from Hisar in Haryana on Tuesday.
And a day after the cash went missing from the Dimapur airport before it was recovered and another Rs 4.47 crore in demonetised notes impounded, the income tax department also initiated an inquiry on how its officials allowed the cash out of the airport.
The demonetised cash was flown in allegedly on basis of an income tax department certificate to a Nagaland businessman Anato Zhimomi, son-in-law of former chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, who now represents the Nagaland People’s Front in the Lok Sabha.
The cash went missing after the CISF seized it at Dimapur airport and reportedly handed it over to IT officials on Tuesday. It was found in a fuel station owned by Zhimomi on Wednesday night.
I-T sources said the probe will unravel the mystery behind the money going missing and people involved in the operation.
“We want to find out more about the people who have been involved in this transaction...it is at an early stage, we have to wait for more details… We are looking into the matter,” an official source told Hindustan Times, adding the probability of money laundering will also be investigated.
“It is possible people who had stashed cash elsewhere in the country have channelled or are trying to divert them to accounts of Nagaland’s tribal people who are exempted from paying taxes,” said a state government official.
In another twist, officials at the Dimapur airport said another flight had landed from Hisar on November 13.
“Tuesday’s (November 22) was not the only occasion that the flight came from Hisar. The same jet had come to Dimapur from the same place on November 13 and flown back on November 14,” Dimapur airport director M Zhimo told Hindustan Times. He did not say how many people were on board the November 13 flight.
Manvinder Singh, owner of the company that provided the aircraft remained incommunicado.
Apart from tax evaders, a clutch of banned militant outfits which operate from Myanmar were clandestinely trying to exchange discontinued notes extorted from the region, intelligence officials said.
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