New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has attached assets worth Rs 6.88 crore of a close aide of top NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah and others in a money laundering case.
The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)-IM is a banned Naga separatist organisation and Thuingaleng Muivah is its general secretary.
It is currently engaged in peace talks with the Union government.
The ED has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of bank balances, mutual funds and certain insurance products.
These assets are held in the name of Rayilung Nsarangbe, a self-styled colonel and treasurer of the NSCN-IM, his wife Ruth Chawang and Apam Muivah, who the ED said is a secretary to ‘ato kilonser’ (prime minister), that is T Muivah.
The money laundering case of the ED was filed after studying an FIR and charge sheet filed against them by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last year.
“It was alleged in the NIA charge sheet that the terrorist gang of NSCN (IM) was carrying out well-organised extortion racket in Manipur and Nagaland, resulting in diversion of government funds,” the ED said.
It added that “in pursuance of their conspiracy for terrorist acts, the terrorist gang of NSCN (IM) had been criminally intimidating construction companies undertaking road construction projects in Manipur and collected huge sums as illegal tax (extortion).”
The ED investigation found that the district in charge of four administrative districts of Manipur — Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel — were “reporting” to Rayilung Nsarangbe as he was the treasurer of the collective leadership.
“The district representatives were submitting the extorted money along with the details of collection made by them from various economic activities to Rayilung,” it alleged.
A huge amount of extortion money was being “directly collected” by Rayilung, it claimed.
“Major part of the extortion amount was being utilised as per the direction of the collective leadership and part of it was being deposited in the bank accounts maintained in the name of Rayilung, his wife Ruth Chawang, and Apam Muivah,” it said.
It claimed that in order to “conceal” the proceeds of crime, several mutual funds, insurance products were subscribed or purchased in the name of Ruth Chawang alias Ruth Zeliang from the cash deposited in the accounts.
“Rayilung had also transferred a huge amount of money to Apam Muivah from the accounts maintained in the name of Ruth Chawang,” it alleged.
On August 3, 2015, a framework agreement was signed by T Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a major step towards the final settlement.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland.
However, there has been no progress in the peace talks as the NSCN-IM has sought a separate flag and constitution for Nagaland, which was rejected by the central government.
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