Victims of real estate scam demand justice

Kathmandu, January 7

People victimised by Sudhir Basnet, a notorious realtor, have demanded that the government do justice to them by recovering their cash bilked by him.

Organising a press conference in Kathmandu today, ‘Sudhir Basnet Pidit Janasamuha’ said nearly 9,000 people were cheated of over Rs 10 billion by the realtor. “The government has already brought Basnet to book but the victims have yet to recover their money.

Therefore, the government should recoup the money and do justice to the victims,” said Ghana Nath Ojha, chairperson of Janasamuha. He also suggested that the government solve the problem by appointing a liquidator.

Devendra Raj Sharma, a senior advocate, urged the government to shoulder the responsibility of recovering cash of banks and financial institutions, and the general public.

A joint team of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Metropolitan Police Range and Verdict implementation Unit of the Supreme Court had on December 28 nabbed Sudhir Basnet, who was on the run after being convicted of fraud.

Police had arrested Basnet from his house in Dhapasi acting on a tip-off that he had come to Kathmandu after spending several months in various Indian cities to evade justice.

Kathmandu District Court had sentenced Basnet to two years in jail, along with a fine of Rs 59.1 million on March 19, and six months in jail Rs 4.9 million fine on July 14 in two separate cases of fraud.

Similarly, he was handed an imprisonment of two years with a fine of Rs 84,648 on November 23, 2015 in connection with another fraud case. Currently, Basnet is doing time in Dillibazaar Prison.

According to police, Basnet defrauded hundreds of people of tens of millions of rupees with the promise of providing them apartment. Basnet has also defaulted a loan of approximately Rs 1.6 billion he took from 14 banks and financial institutions.

He was chairperson of Oriental Group. Kohinoor Hills was another project of Basnet. Both companies were blacklisted by Credit Information Bureau.

He had invested bank loans and the cash of depositors of Oriental Savings and Credit Cooperative in housing projects by violating cooperatives regulations.

The cooperative owes Rs 3.89 billion to over 7,000 depositors, whereas his debt-ridden Agni Air was put up for auction by a consortium of banks that had financed the airlines for failing to repay loans.