Himalayan Cargo operator ‘evaded tax’

Kathmandu, August 17

The Department of Revenue Investigation today filed a case against Indian trader Binod Kumar Gupta, operator of Himalayan Cargo, and his wife Madhu Kumari Gupta, who is the Nepali proprietor of the company, at the Kathmandu District Court on charges of evading more than Rs 540 million in taxes over the past one decade.

Officials of the department informed that a case was filed against them seeking Rs 2.72 billion (which includes the principal amount and fines) and three years of imprisonment.

Declaring itself as a small taxpayer with paid-up capital of Rs 2 million, Himalayan Cargo paid only Rs 5,000 as a tax to the government between 2008 and 2015 and had not paid any tax since 2015, according to Dirgha Raj Mainali, director general of DoRI.

Mainali added that bank accounts of Binod Kumar Gupta, with a total balance of almost Rs 150 million, have been frozen and the government agencies concerned had been asked to freeze all immovable assets of Gupta and his firm.

Gupta’s tax evasion came to light in June after one of Himalayan Cargo’s trucks was found to be supplying foreign ghee and milk powder in Nepal by evading import taxes. According to Mainali, the department had also acted on tip-offs related to Gupta evading taxes.

Later, DoRI probe found that Gupta and his firm had been evading customs duty and income tax for many years. The investigation revealed that the husband-and-wife team had been using fake customs clearance certificates and value added tax bills to supply products in Nepal.

Meanwhile, DoRI has also filed cases against six officials of Nepalgunj Customs Office and 16 other people, who had assisted Gupta in his tax evasion plan, seeking Rs 100 million in fine from them.

Cases have been filed against Rabindra Gupta, Birendra Gupta, Rahul Kumar Gupta, Madhu Kumari Chaudhari, Binod Gupta, Yam Bahadur BK, Ashok Kumar Dube, Ghanashyam Sharma, Min Bahadur Tamang, Janardan Acharya, Battu Krishna Adhikari, Basanta Kumar Subedi, Dinesh Kumar Baniya, Chandra Bahadur Chhetri, Jit Bahadur Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Mukesh Sharma, Rohit Agrawal, Shiva Raj Bhattarai, Safalta Mahat, Hari Bayalkoti and Sunita Neupane.