CIAA books customs officer, seven others for corruption

Kathmandu, February 13

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today filed a corruption case against eight individuals, including a customs officer, for evading customs duty in the import of goods from Thailand via China.

The CIAA has sought to recoup Rs 75,963,190 from each defendant. The CIAA named Customs Officer Pavitra Khadka of Rasuwa Customs Office, Timure, and non gazetted first class officer Dhiraj Kumar Thapa of the same office; owner of Miteri International Traders Sanu Shrestha and Ranjan Tripathi of Miteri of the same company; Dhan Bahadur Tamang, owner of Langtang Trade Concern; Akash Shrestha (person who was involved in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle(used for transporting goods); Niranjan Tripathi (person who had taken the responsibility of the vehicles); and Dambar Bahadur Shrestha (driver of the vehicle).

According to a press release issued by the anti-graft body, customs duty was evaded when Miteri International imported clothes from Thailand. A team deployed from the Department of Revenue Investigation had seized the truck heading from Rasuwa to Kathmandu with imported garments.

On December 10, a case of tax evasion was filed in Kathmandu District Court against people involved in the crime, including Customs Officer Pavitra Khadka. The  CIAA said it investigated the charge sheet and found that the origin of goods, their quality and physical characteristics were changed in the document with the motive of evading customs duty.

The CIAA said that the defendants changed the origin of 2,160 ladies shoes made in Thailand stating it as ‘made in China.’

The CIAA stated that customs officials who were supposed to impose penalty on the importer colluded with him and did not impose any fine. In the customs declaration form, defendants stated China as the country of origin of the goods.