CIB arrests former DGM of Kist Bank

Kathmandu, November 23

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has again arrested two former high-ranking officials of then Kist Bank — then deputy managing director BN Gharti and another official Pragun Shrestha — who had been convicted of a banking fraud, from Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Deputy Superintendent of Police at CIB Shyam Oliya has confirmed that they were arrested and are being interrogated for the banking fraud charge that has been levelled against them. “There are other high ranking officials that we suspect of being complicit in the scam and they are under our radar,” he added. “We will make their names and details of their misdeeds public on Saturday.”

CIB had earlier arrested Gharti on charge of banking fraud on November 24, 2013. According to the CIB, Gharti was arrested along with two other Kist Bank officials. At that time Gharti was heading the management of Kist Bank after its managing director Kamal Gnawali was forced to resign in June that year after he was charged with banking fraud.

In a recent development related to the case, Gnawali was arrested from Mohana bridge on the border between Kailali and Kanchanpur districts on October 6. Gnawali had been absconding since being convicted of the aforementioned crime.

Gnawali had been on the run after Patan High Court in 2016 convicted him of banking fraud and embezzlement and

sentenced him to four years in prison, along with a penalty of Rs 42.68 million.

The case is related to embezzlement of loan amount worth Rs 130 million taken from Siddhartha Development Bank. An investigation conducted by Nepal Rastra Bank had found that Gnawali, who was also a shareholder at Siddhartha

Development Bank, had used his personal influence while taking a loan in his wife’s name by keeping a plot of land as

collateral at a highly inflated rate. The actual valuation of the land, as revealed by subsequent investigation, was only Rs 60 million.

Moreover, Gnawali, Gharti and the management team of Kist Bank had provided a loan of Rs 120 million to Jamko

Publication that was disproportionate to the value of the collateral pledged by Jamko thus going against the investment policy of the bank.