Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised notes flown out of Hisar airport to Dimapur for conversion
Nagaland, like other northeastern states, is a tax haven since there are tax exemptions for the local tribal communities, and security at the smaller airports is non-existent.
A few days ago, a private chartered flight took off from an abandoned runway strip in Hisar and landed at Dimapur in Nagaland. On the flight was a man named Amarjeet Singh, who was carrying with him Rs 3.5 crore in the devalued Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. Though Amarjeet managed to fly out of Hisar on the chartered flight with the cash, he was arrested by the CISF soon after he landed in Dimapur on the basis of information that he was carrying with him ‘suspect money’. Amarjeet was later handed over to the Income Tax department with the cash. The runway strip at Hisar is maintained by Haryana flying club governing body and its members, and no security checks are conducted there since it is not a commercial airport.
Later, the cash, amounting to Rs 3.5 crore, disappeared and neither the CISF nor the IT department had any clue as to where it went. During the course of subsequent investigation, it came to light that a local businessman named Anato Zhimomi had come to claim the cash with a certificate of Income Tax free entity. The money was released to him and the cash and Amarjeet were let go.
The money, it is believed, belongs to a businessman from Bihar and was meant to be converted from black to white. And Anato Zhimomi was to help facilitate this conversion. Zhimomi is said to be an influential person considering that his father was a Rajya Sabha MP and his father-in-law, Neiphiu Rio, a Lok Sabha MP and three-time chief minister of Nagaland.
Nagaland, like other northeastern states, is a tax haven since there are tax exemptions for the local tribals, and security at the smaller airports is non-existent.
NAGALAND, LIKE OTHER NORTHEASTERN STATES EXCEPT ASSAM: A TAX HAVEN
As per the Constitution, Nagas, and all other residents of the sixth schedule areas of the Northeast, are exempt from paying income tax.
The sixth schedule is a special provision which gives tribal communities considerable autonomy in the states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and tribal councils of Assam and Tripura. The Imphal valley is not part of this.
Also, there is no limit to the amount of money they can keep in their bank accounts, which makes the region a tax haven as unaccounted for cash can be parked in the bank accounts of the tribals.
Another version of the Amarjeet-Anato deal is that Anato had given Amarjeet the money to purchase land in Haryana. However, after the PM’s demonetisation announcement, the money became useless and Amarjeet flew the devalued currency notes back to Dimapur where Anato staked his claim on them.
IT RAIDS ON ANATO
Late on Wednesday evening, the IT department raided Anato’s residence and other premises and recovered the money. During the raids, Anato also revealed that he had been converting money ever since the demonetisation order came into effect.