TIA radio operator booked for amassing Rs 14 cr

Kathmandu, January 29

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today filed a charge-sheet in the Special Court against Shyam Krishna Chwamu Shrestha, a suspended radio operator of Customs Office at Tribhuvan International Airport, for allegedly accumulating assets worth Rs 140 million from illegitimate sources.

He was suspended on 11 January 2017 in connection with a case of smuggling 33 kg gold and his involvement in assisting smugglers to cross the Customs Office with the contraband.

CIAA spokesperson Rameshwor Dangal said the anti-graft body launched a thorough investigation into a complaint, leading to the filing of the charge. The undeclared gold was seized by the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police from Pinglasthan on 5 January 2017.

A CIAA report shows that Shrestha and his family earned approximately Rs 98 million from legitimate sources, including salary, the sale of land and flat and house rent since Shrestha joined public service on 18 March 1997. However, he has spent or invested more than Rs 198 million since March 1997. He earned approximately Rs 40 million by investing the ‘ill-gotten’ Rs 100 million and that has also been considered assets acquired illegally.

Shrestha had invested crores of rupees in real estate, Namobuddha Agro Pvt Ltd, vehicles, flats and shares. Dangal said Shrestha had also registered assets accumulated from illegitimate sources in the names of his wives Taradevi Shrestha and Rekha Shrestha, mother Chandradevi, father Gyan Krishna, younger brother Ram Krishna and sister-in-law Rabina. The CIAA has listed them as defendants in the corruption case under the Prevention of Corruption Act for confiscating moveable and immovable property acquired from illegitimate sources.

The CIAA has sought confiscation of Rs 140 million, a fine of an equivalent amount and jail sentence according to the gravity of offence as provisioned in Section 20 of the act.