In yet another shocking revelation related to black money hoarding post demonetisation, it has been found that launderers and arms suppliers are pumping illegal wealth into tax-exempt bank accounts of local tribes and even as investments in guns in Nagaland.
According to an India Today report, In Nagaland’s Dimapur, unscrupulous operatives were found to be helping black money hoarders park their loot in safe hideouts.
During the investigation, the reporter, posing as a marble leader, met a money tout, Noor Mohammad, who agreed to facilitate hoarding of dissolved currency in accounts of tribal people.
“There are ten to 15 accounts of a single family. But you wouldn't like to have accounts from a single household. You need four or five accounts from separate people. These Naga people pay no taxes. They don't even pay 25 paisa in taxes,” India Today quoted Noor as saying.
He suggested the undercover reporter to deposit money in Naga accounts in separate instalments till December 30, for which he will take his cut.
Middlemen like Noor Mohammad were found to be misusing a provision of IT law that keeps tribals of Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh exempted from income tax.
However, this was not the only way used by tax thieves in the north-eastern region.
According to the report, buying weapons with scrapped notes has also emerged as another viable option for those looking to stash their illicit wealth.
Several firearm suppliers in Dimapur were seen organising weapon permits even for non-residents, that too in exchange for scrapped notes.
For instance, Viraj of Sarmati Gun-House in Dimapur demanded Rs 1.40 lakh for a single license for a .32 pistol.
“This is the license rate. The pistol price will be separate,” he said.
He then brought in a man, Kibami, who identified himself as staff of the state’s police department.
Kibami told that he works as a typist in the arms section and assured that everything will be alright.
He and Viraj quickly promised to arrange a license for the undercover reporter. Viraj also offered his wares to invest the reporter’s fictitious black money in.
“We will get it (the black money) adjusted in the weapon. By that time, you'll also get your licence,” he said.
Vikas, Viraj’s accomplice, then offered to hoard Rs 80 lakh ‘black money’ in his current account for a cut of 25 per cent.
“We have to bribe the sales tax inspector as well. We have to show everything in the book. But it's an yearly account. We'll have your money settled in there,” Vikas said.