24/11/2016 11:26 AM IST | Updated 24/11/2016 11:48 AM IST

How Tribals In The Northeast Are Being Used To Covert Black Money Into White: Report

The strange case of Amarjeet Kumar Singh and Anato Zhimom.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Contractors and businessmen from outside the Northeast routinely use accounts of tribals in the region to conduct business. Contracts are drawn up in the name of a local in exchange for a certain commission.

The reason is that scheduled tribe communities in Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram are exempt from paying income tax. Post-demonetisation, however, it appears that this exemption is used to convert black money into white.

The Economic Times reported today that at least two chartered planes from Hisar have landed in Dhimapur in one week, raising suspicions that black money owners are using the exemption status of the Naga tribes to rescue slush funds.

The Central Industrial Security Force apprehended Amarjeet Kumar Singh, a businessman, who had carried Rs. 3.5 crore in cash in the Rs.1000 and Rs. 500, which were scrapped on Nov. 9. The cash reportedly disappeared.

ET further reported that Anato Zhimom, a local businessman, had claimed the cash. He is son-in-law of former chief minister and Lok Sabha lawmaker Neiphiu Rio of Naga People's Front, an ally of BJP.

"A local businessman has produced income tax exemption certificate and claimed that money belonged to him. The businessman being a tribal is entitled to exemption. Income tax officials after detail investigation has handed over cash to him," L.L. Dungell, director general of Nagaland police, told ET.

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