Nagaland CM accused of international money laundering

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Kohima Jan 16: The political crisis in Nagaland over demand for removing Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang has got murkier as the rebel NPF legislators accused him of indulging in international money laundering, a charge Zeliang denied on Friday.

Accusing Zeliang of wooing the legislators and party workers to favour him, the rebel Naga People's Front (NPF) legislators, in a statement, claimed to have possession of documents of international money transfers to the chief minister and his wife's bank account.

Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang

"We have in our possession documents of international money transfers to T.R. Zeliang and his wife's accounts in Hong Kong and Kuala Lampur sent from Singapore. The details of money transfers which we are revealing today are to the tune of more than Rs. 78 crore," the rebel legislators Noke Wangnao and G. Kaito Aye said in a statement.

According to bank documents, an amount of 70,00,000 (Singapore Dollars) was transferred to the recipient - T R Zeliang Aug 16, 2014 in Royal Bank of Canada (Hong Kong) by a sender, named Ramasamy Veeran, the statement claimed.

Another amount of 1,00, 08,500 (Singapore Dollar) was shown as transferred to the account of Zeliang's wife, Kevizenuo Rangkau, Sep 26, 2014.

"It is this illegal money in enormous amounts which is being used to lure legislators and party workers to favor him. A syndicate of few ministers and politicians are secretly running the affairs of the state and making unbelievable amounts of money for their personal gains," the statement said.

"They (Zeliang group) are selling the State and the rights of the Naga people and carrying out international money transfers and moving black money which is being kept in foreign bank accounts," it added.

However, Zeliang, who is facing a revolt for over three weeks denied the charges levelled against him.

"I have no foreign bank account. I don't know whose bank document is it since I have a bank account only in India. I am ready to cooperate with any investigation by central agencies," Zeliang told IANS Friday.

"I challenged them (NPF rebels) to substantiate their allegations with genuine documents. If they failed to do so, I have no option but to file a defamation suit against those making the allegation," the chief minister said.

"The charges they made against me is like opening a Pandora Box that would shed light on others who have properties and bank accounts within and outside the country," Zeliang added.

The demand for removal of Zeliang as the chief minister gained momentum after two cabinet ministers, five parliamentary secretaries and four legislators appointed as advisors or chairmen of different government sector undertakings resigned from their positions.

In the 60-member Nagaland assembly, the NPF has 38 members, supported by pre-poll alliance partners - four BJP and one JD(U), while one NCP and eight Independent MLAs give outside support to the government.

The Congress has eight members in the assembly.

IANS

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