Nepal | September 28, 2020

Billions of rupees embezzled in post-quake relief drive, concludes CIAA

THT Online
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In this June 10, 2015 photo, earthquake survivor Sedar Taman, 22, whose left foot was amputated stands with his two sons near a tent in Trishuli, Nuwakot district. Photo: AP

In this June 10, 2015 photo, earthquake survivor Sedar Taman, 22, whose left foot was amputated stands with his two sons near a tent in Trishuli, Nuwakot district. Photo: AP

KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority concluded that billions of rupees were embezzled during rescue and relief activities after the devastating April 25 earthquake.

Releasing its investigation report over the alleged anomalies today, the constitutional anti-corruption body said officials and political leaders from local to national level were involved in the irregularities.

The Commission, however, has not figured out exact amount of the misappropriation.

CIAA spokesperson Krishnahari Pushkar at the press conference on Sunday said the Commission would still investigate into the issue before indicting the suspects.

“The bill of goods bought from Kathmandu and Nuwakot is issued from Dolakha while the tarpaulin sheets available in Nepal have been purchased from Delhi at a high price,” he explained, “Hundreds of such misconducts have been committed.”

Pushkar commented that coordination between and among government authorities for effective management of relief distribution tasks was “terrible.”

Relief goods were distributed on the basis of political influence while the government failed to monitor and regulate relief campaigns carried out by national and international non-government organisations, the official added.

The Commission had formed a probe panel led by DIG Pashupati Upadhyaya to investigate into alleged irregularities in relief distribution after the devastating quake which killed nearly 9,000 people in various districts of the nation.

Earlier, on September 6, the Commission had directed the government to take departmental actions against five high officials of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), claiming that they facilitated embezzlement in purchase of tarpaulin sheets meant for earthquake survivors.

Likewise, the Commission had also filed a case at the Special Court against eight persons including three MoUD officials, director of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and four trades, claiming they embezzled the government fund meant for earthquake survivors in the purchase.


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