Nepal freezes bank lockers of 29 ‘powerful figures’, targeted names include ex-ministers to acclaimed journalist

Nepal’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), has written to at least 29 powerful people in the country ordering them appear in front of the constitutional body within seven days. CIAA has simultaneously asked all banks to freeze their lockers by today, December 7.

They are all suspected of having made illicit and unexplained financial gains.

The list includes prominent personalities from ex-ministers to already-rich business people who dobbed into politics to make money rather than serve the teeming (needy) millions to a journalist renown for his contribution to the development of media in the South Asian region.

Whether investigations against these mighty corruption listers will have teeth or not (because CIAA itself has had fingers pointed at it in the past), today’s report by Kantipur Daily is likely to generate high expectations among the Nepalese people who often say with a sigh, “If only we did not have these politicians and corruption!”

The fact that the list contains the names of 12 former government ministers, and even three current ministerial secretaries, is a proof of just how completely the culture of corruption has sipped into the very fabric of the impoverished nation.

This murky development also raises question whether or not the funds for the earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction will be duly and democratically spent. There have been reports in the vernacular media, already, about relief being distributed to pseudo disaster victims. It is also suspected that there may have been irregularities in procuring astronomically-priced relief materials (for possible kickbacks) and life-saving medicines.

Lokman Singh Karki
Lokman Singh Karki

Citing their anonymous source, senior Kantipur journalist Balaram Baniya and journalist Gokarna Awasthi have revealed that CIAA boss Lokman Singh Karki summoned the CEOs of all banks operating in the Himalayan nation on Friday and ordered them to seize lockers of all named in the list.

The report further adds that the Chief Commissioner of the constitutional watchdog took up the matter with the governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, the apex bank in the country.

The CIAA has in the past investigated a number of high profile subjects and has had some success in sending them to jail. However, many in Nepal believe that the powerful body has done too little of what it could actually achieve in order to save the nation from the scourge of corruption.

Many more are being investigated for a variety of suspected corruption cases, the report added.

Complete list of people under CIAA investigation courtesy Kantipur Dainik:

Vidhyadhar Mallik, ex-minister

Ram Kumar Shrestha, ex-minister

Chhabiraj Pant, ex-minister

Shankar Koirala, ex-minister

Umakanta Jha, ex-minister

Tek Bahadur Thapa Gharti, ex-minister

Krishna Bahadur Mahara, ex-minister, Unified Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist

Bhojraj Ghimire, ex-chief secretary and ex-ambassador

Lhyrkal Lama, ex-minister

Rabindra Pratap Shah, ex-Inspector General of Nepal Police

Banshidhar Mishra, ex-minister

Surendra Pandey, ex-minister

Rajendra Pandey, ex-minister

Ichharaj Tamang, Member of Parliament and businessman

Janardhan Dhakal, Member of Parliament

Umesh Shrestha, Member of Parliament and businessman

Raj Kumar Agrawal, businessman

Bikram Pandey, Member of Parliament and businessman

Gita Rana, Member of Parliament and owner of private schools

Baburam Pokharel, Member of Parliament and owner of private schools

Kanak Mani Dixit, chairman, Sajha Yatayat (public transport company) & publisher of Himal Media

Nilam KC Khadka, ex-minister

Bijaylal Kayastha, Deputy Inspector General of Police

Rajendra Singh Bhandari, Assistant Inspector General of Police

Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, secretary, Ministry of Health

Anup Kumar Upadhyaya, secretary, Ministry for Irrigation

Gopal Bahadur Khadka, executive director, Nepal Oil Corporation

Bijay Paudel, ex-MP from Communist Party of Nepal (UML)

One thought on “Nepal freezes bank lockers of 29 ‘powerful figures’, targeted names include ex-ministers to acclaimed journalist

  1. Rajendra Senchurey

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    Very happy and excited to see this stunning move of Nepal’s anti-graft body. The politicians in Nepal have always tried to position them above law either by direct or indirect influence, by cajolery or intimididation and using visible or invisible hands. This herculean audacity exhibited by Nepalese ombudsman is hugely laudable. Go ahead, we are with you, Lokman Karki!!!

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