CIAA nabs DoFE DG for graft

Kathmandu, November 15

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today arrested Director General of the Department of Foreign Employment Bishwo Raj Pandey on charges of his involvement in corruption.

The anti-graft body, on Tuesday, had arrested DoFE Section Officer Tripti Ballav Paudel and Non-gazetted Officer Khadka KC red-handed while taking a bribe of Rs 1 million with a promise to settle a case.

The CIAA arrested Pandey from Chabahil today after Paudel and KC revealed their involvement in the bribe deal.

CIAA officials said they had received prior information about Tuesday’s deal.

As per the preliminary investigation of the CIAA, the aforementioned DoFE officials took bribe to settle the case involving Nepali workers who had returned from Abu Dhabi after the company they were working for in Abu Dhabi had shut down six months after they joined the workplace.

Khagendra Prasad Rijal, deputy spokesperson for the CIAA, said that Nepali workers had filed a case against Nepali manpower company — SRS Overseas — following which DoFE barred the manpower company from any further transactions.

Later, Subhadra Baral, the operator of SRS Overseas, moved the Supreme Court demanding the resumption of operations of her company. The SC then directed DoFE to allow the manpower company to resume its work.

It is learnt that following this Baral started the process at DoFE to restart her manpower firm.

“However, DoFE was reluctant to allow the manpower company to resume its service and its officials demanded bribe from SRS Overseas,” said Rijal.

It is not the first time that DoFE officials have been found to be indulging in corruption. Earlier too, the CIAA had arrested several officials of DoFE for their involvement in corruption in the manpower registration process.

Moreover, manpower companies have alleged that DoFE officials took bribes while investigating financial transaction of hundreds of manpower companies after their failure to implement the free-visa-free-ticket system properly.

According to Rijal, the CIAA will further investigate the issue before recommending any action against the three DoFE officials, including Director General Pandey.

Pandey is supposed to retire from government service on November 21.