No trace of Nagaland's missing Rs.3.5 crore old notes

Mystery surrounding the dramatic disappearance of the demonetized Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes from Nagaland’s Dimapur airport continues.

Published: 23rd November 2016 06:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2016 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

GUAWAHATI:  The mystery surrounding the dramatic disappearance of Rs.3.5 crore in the demonetized Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes from Nagaland’s Dimapur airport on Tuesday continues.

The police on Wednesday seized CCTV footage from the airport for examination.

“We know, for sure, that the money was taken away by an individual. But as the personnel of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on duty and officials of the Income Tax (IT) department denied
having handed the money over to any, we are trying to find out how the money was handed over, who handed it and to whom and under what provision,” Dimapur Police Commissioner, Liremo Lotha, told Express.

He said the taxmen concerned were not traceable. “I was told they have moved out of station,” he said.

One Amarjit Singh, said to be a businessman from Bihar, had brought the old notes in a private jet from Hisar in Haryana. He was the lone passenger of the flight. Before the plane’s landing, the
CISF authorities were tipped off by their superiors about a person bringing huge cash in a chartered plane. Accordingly, they alerted the IT officials.

Eventually, when the plane landed at 10:07 am on Tuesday, Singh’s bag was frisked and the money was seized. But it disappeared two hours later after Singh had flown back to Delhi in the same aircraft but this time, the police said, in the company of one Anato Zhimomi and two-three others. Quoting the CISF, the police had said on Tuesday that Zhimomi had gone forward to claim the money. He is a young Naga businessman and the son-in-law of Lok Sabha member and three-time former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

“The point of contention is who handed over the money. The CISF personnel are saying they had handed it over to the sleuths of IT. The taxmen are saying they had made the seizure memo witness but the CISF never handed over the money to them. The money is neither with the CISF personnel nor with the IT officials. We know it was handed over to an individual but they are not in a position to produce any receipt,” Lotha said. 

A CISF officer has submitted a written report to the police and the police commissioner said it had been taken as his statement. He said the CISF was claiming it had handed over the money to IT sleuths but there was no document to show the handing and taking over of the seized cash.

It may be mentioned that the STs, living and earning in the Northeast, are exempted from income tax.

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