Fraud, black-marketing case filed against Sharma, Sah

Kathmandu, December 17

The Metropolitan Police Crime Division today filed a case of fraud and black-marketing against Ram Aadhar Sah and Rabin Kumar Sharma at the Kathmandu District Court.

Sah and Sharma have been automatically suspended from their respective offices after the MPCD formally charged the duo through the Office of District Attorney.

Sah was Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and former director at the Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology while Sharma was the chief of Thankot Depot of Nepal Oil Corporation.

The MPCD had separately arrested Sah and Sharma from the capital on December 13 after some persons detained on the charge of fuel black marketing and fuel metre tampering at different fuel stations in the Kathmandu Valley implicated the duo while recording their statements, said SP Shahakul Thapa.

On November 22 and 23, the MPCD in association with NBSM raided at least 19 petrol pumps in the Kathmandu Valley and initiated legal action against their owners and staffers for dispensing less fuel than what consumers pay for.

Motorists were being cheated by petrol pumps for years.

The detainees were owners of Ekantakuna-based Gayatridevi Oil Stores, Chapagaun-based Shree Mahalaxmi Bishwakarma Traders, Balkumar-based Unique Fuel Centre, Sanepa-based Trishakti Fuel Centre, Balaju-based Crystal Fuel Suppliers, Bhaktapur Fuel Centre, Sano Bharyang-based New Bagalamukhu Oil Store, Gopi Krishna-based Rajdhani Oil, Jay Bageshwori-based New Pushpanjali Oil Trader Pvt Ltd, New Bus Park-based Pujakothi Oil Store and Samakhushi-based Diya Suppliers, among others.

According to police, the fuel pump owners were cheating consumers by tampering with the fuel metres to dispense less fuel. The petrol pumps were found taking the help of a group of technicians, mostly Indians.

Police had also arrested five technicians, including four Indians, who installed tampering devices in petrol pumps.

The gang of so-called technicians had been working nationwide to import the devices from Lucknow of India and install it in petrol pumps.

Investigators said Sah, who was NBSM director general in 2013, had worked in cahoots with the racketeers to let them and petrol pump owners tamper with fuel metres for hefty cash.