Nepalese ambassador to South Korea has been accused of stealing over Rs 200,000 a month from his impoverished and now earthquake-battered nation by padding his real estate bills.
What ambassador Kaman Singh Lama allegedly earns in a month through the rort, by quoting a false amount to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is more than what three ordinary Nepalese citizens would make in a year.
Mr Lama submits a monthly bill of ₩7.5 million to the ministry whereas the actual rent is only ₩5 million per month, Annapurna Post claimed in a report published today. The local real estate agency through which his residence is arranged then apparently sends the difference of ₩2.5 million to him through a third person. The 2.5 million won amounts to around Rs 250,000, a massive amount to lose unnecessarily for a Third World like Nepal.
That third person used to be a Nepalese man in Seoul but later the money began to be routed to his daughter’s bank account. But ever since his foster-daughter Puja Lama left for USA, he has been receiving the money through a local Korean man who is also a ‘local employee’ of the Nepalese mission, the Post claimed in the report.
The person who currently receives the money for the ambassador, cited as ‘the ambassador’s man’ in the report, is the same person who until recently used to run a studio to provide photo service to Nepalese citizens who thronged to the mission to get Machine Readable Passports (MRPs).
It has also been revealed that the lease was organised at the initiation of Mr Lama himself, an accusation he has denied.
However, the ambassador has already labelled the news as an attempt to tarnish his image. Speaking to the media, he said, “I do not know how much is the rent of the embassy and residence. Everything is done by the embassy employees. Someone has thrown a false accusation at me, I have not done anything illegal,” he was quoted by Post.
Claiming that some people are trying to hurt his image, the central committee member of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) said he is read to accept any punishment should the accusation be proved.
Ambassador Lama has 5 more months in Korea before his tenure comes to an end.