Graft case filed in fertiliser scam

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 19:

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) today filed a corruption case at the Special Court against the suspended managing director of the government-owned Agricultural Equipment Company, Chaturbhuj Bhatta, and his son Deepak. The CIAA has accused them of involvement in a corruption of over Rs 120 million while signing an agreement to import about 12,500 metric tonnes of chemical fertilisers from an Israeli company, Clan Port International, three years ago. The commission said the fertilisers never arrived here. Chaturbhuj was suspended from his post six months ago after the CIAA started investigation into the scam. Chaturbhuj has been evading his arrest while his son is in CIAA custody. The anti-graft body has sought 11 years’ jail term for Chaturbhuj and eight years for his son. The CIAA has also made the Israeli company and its official, Omer Moshe Sayag, the defendants in the case.

The apex court has sought Rs 6 million fine on Chaturbhuj, Rs 4 million on Deepak and Rs 4 million each on the Clan Port International and its official Omar. The anti-graft body has also sought eight years of jail term for Omar. The CIAA, has however, gave a clean chit to the Nepal-based agent of the Israeli company Indra Bahadur Thapa for he cooperated the CIAA in its investigation into the scam.

A highly placed source at the CIAA said, Chaturbhuj and his son were involved in Rs 50 million corruption scam. He said another case would be filed against them soon.