Eight booked for inflicting huge loss to ADBL

Kathmandu, January 14

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today filed a charge-sheet against eight persons, including six employees of New Road-based main branch office of Agricultural Development Bank Ltd, for embezzling Rs 44.3 million to serve their personal interest and inflicting a huge loss to the bank.

Those booked by the anti-graft body on corruption charges are Dipika Regmi (assistant teller), Prem Hari Dhungana (branch manager), Gopal Giri (chief of loan section), Salil Regmi (retired loan officer), Maheshwor Marahattha (loan officer), Taranath Pandey (cheque clearing officer), Rameshraj Bista (retired brigadier general of Nepali Army) and Prakash Ghatani (owner of New Road-based Durga Jewellers).

Dipika is the prime suspect, who worked in collusion with Prem Hari, Gopal, Maheshwor and other bank employees to embezzle the amount in question and take home the cash deposits available in the bank to live a lavish life. Joint Secretary Pradip Kumar Koirala, CIAA spokesperson, said they misappropriated millions of rupees and divided the amount among themselves without carrying out their duties and responsibilities in a manner consistent with safe and sound banking practices.

According to the CIAA, Dipika credited the amount deposited by customers to the accounts of Rameshraj and Prakash held in the same bank. She used to credit the amount deposited by individuals and organisations through electronic cheque clearance to the accounts of the concerned depositors for some time before transferring them to other accounts by reusing the cheques and altering bank statements, contrary to the directive of Nepal Rastra Bank.

Dipika bought dozens of gold ornaments from Prakash’s jewellery store. He would provide her with ornaments of her choice depending on the sum credited to his account. In the charge-sheet, the CIAA has sought recovery Rs 44.3 million each from Dipika, Premhari and Rameshraj, besides slapping a fine of an equivalent amount in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The principal amount to be recovered from Gopal is Rs 26.1 million, Salil Rs 11 million, Maheshwor Rs 6.7 million, Taranath Rs 400,000 and Prakash Rs 26.7 million, in addition to slapping each of them with a fine of an amount equal to the principal sum.