GUWAHATI: At 10:07 am on Tuesday, a chartered flight from Hissar in Haryana landed at Nagaland’s Dimapur airport with Rs.3.5 crore in crisp but old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes on board.
Two hours later at 12.15 pm after the flight had taken off for Delhi, the cash vanished into thin air right in the presence of CISF personnel and sleuths of the Income Tax (IT) department. It was apparently collected by the relatives of an influential Nagaland politician. The person, who came in the chartered flight, was identified as one Amarjit Singh.
According to airport authorities, the cash was seized from Singh soon after the plane’s landing at the airport. They said the CISF had received a call earlier in the day from “higher officials” that a man was flying to Dimapur in the chartered aircraft carrying huge cash.
“The airport’s chief security officer had received a call from higher officials who informed him about a suspected case of cash-carrying. Accordingly, the IT department was tipped off. Later, when the plane landed here, the IT officials checked a bag, which the passenger was carrying, and seized Rs.3.5 crore,”
Dimapur airport director M Zhimo told Express.
Dimapur Police Commissioner, Liremo Lotha, said they were probing as to how the seized cash vanished.
“We are on the job. We are trying to find out who had handed over the cash and to whom and under what provision in case it was handed over. We have summoned the CISF personnel on duty and the IT officials for questioning. These were all old notes in the denominations of Rs.500 and Rs.1000,” he said.
“According to CISF, (one) Anato had come forward to claim the money but we shall have to ascertain it,” Lotha said.
Anato is a young Naga businessman and son-in-law of Lok Sabha MP and three-time former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. He was said to be at the airport when the plane had landed.
Lotha said the cash carrier, Singh, had left by the same flight to Delhi but this time in the company of Anato and two-three others.