12 NEA staff among 16 held for electricity theft
KATHMANDU: Police on Sunday arrested 16 persons for their alleged involvement in acts of electricity theft in various places of the Capital.
Of the suspects, 12 are former or current staff of the Nepal Electricity Authority including two technicians and 10 metre readers while four are traders and business operators.
Police said they were involved in tampering with electricity metres and defrauding the government-owned power monopoly for last 12 years.
The arrestees are former or current NEA staffers Suman Shrestha, Tahal Bahadur Karki, Mahadev Pradhan, Achyut Khadka, Dil Bahadur Saud, Om Dhungana, Shyam Basnet, Pradeep Sharma, Surya Bahadur Thapa, Thakur Maharjan, Manij Shrestha and Bhagawan Pandey.
Likewise, water bottling entrepreneur Kumar Lama of Gokarneshwor, sweet shop owner Tapan Ghosh of Gaushala, cotton trader Parvej Alam of Naxal and sweet shop owner Ramesh Chundal of Anamnagar were arrested for mobilising the NEA staff in the fraudulent activity.
Alam and Ghosh are Indian citizens.
A team deployed from the Metropolitan Crime Division had arrested them from multiple locations of Kathmandu Valley today.
Issuing a press statement today, the MCD informed the NEA staffers would unauthorisedly unseal the power metres installed at businesses and private houses and tamper with the metres with the use of various tools and equipment.
They would make the metres run reverse so that the consumers would be allowed to pay less to the NEA if they paid some kickback to the suspected staff regularly.
A staffer could manipulate as much as 20 to 25 metres every day, police claimed.
Police said their activities resulted into increased supply of power and subsequent outage at other places.
While further investigation is underway, police said they would face a fraud case at the court.