Nepal | May 29, 2020

Civil Bank chair faces money laundering investigation

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 11

The Department of Money Laundering Investigation has initiated a probe into housing entrepreneur and bank promoter Ichchha Raj Tamang after the department found financial transactions exceeding the given limit being made through Tamang’s bank account.

This undated image shows entrepreneur and bank promoter Ichchha Raj Tamang. Photo courtesy: Civil Bank

As per DoMLI, Tamang, who is also the chairperson of Civil Bank, and his partner Keshav Lal Shrestha had transferred a disproportionate amount of more than Rs 1 billion from the account maintained by Civil Hotels at Civil Bank to the account of Civil Apartments in the same bank.

“As these transactions and the source of the money were suspicious, we have started a probe into these banking transactions, depositors and the recipients,” said an investigation officer at DoMLI who did not want to be named.

Stating that the concerned transactions made by Tamang and Shrestha were suspicious, the DoMLI sent a letter to Nepal Rastra Bank and Civil Bank yesterday, seeking details of those banking transactions.

According to the department, Civil Hotels, which is owned by Tamang, had made disbursement to Civil Apartments, another company owned by Tamang himself, 24 times a month through Civil Bank in 2011. In December 2011 alone, Rs 138 million was issued in this manner through 24 transactions.

Writing a letter to NRB and Civil Bank, the DoMLI has sought details of those transactions and branches of banks through which those transactions were made. The department has also asked Civil Bank whether or not the bank should have made suspicious activity reports of those transactions. It has also asked the bank whether it had submitted the reports to NRB if it had made them. The department has also sought clarification from Civil Bank if it had deemed that suspicious activity reports were not necessary.

Roop Narayan Bhattarai, director general at DoMLI, said any suspicious transaction and assets of people were bound to face investigation. “The department has been probing all suspicious assets. In recent months, we have intensified our probe,” he added.


A version of this article appears in print on February 12, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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