Loan shark held after debtors complain in Sarlahi

Kathmandu, January 8

Sarlahi District Police today arrested Ram Babu Ray, a resident of Barhathawa Municipality, on the charge of inflating loan amount and extorting exorbitant interests from debtors.

Superintendent of Police Bishwamani Pokharel, in-charge of Sarlahi District Police Office told THT over phone from Sarlahi that his office arrested Ray after many people who had taken loan from him complained that he had inflated their loan and charged exorbitant interest.

Ray’s arrest took place at the same time when 40 residents of Sarlahi, who had taken loan from Ray and Sanjay Sah Rauniyar of Sarlahi, met Inspector General of Police Sarbendra Khanal, Attorney General Agni Prasad Kharel and Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai today and told them that they were the victims of the duo’s usury.

Dacha Raj Wagle, a local leader associated with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) told THT that Ray took advantage of poor people in the district and made them sign loan deeds mentioning at least three times higher amount of the actual loan that he had given to the local people. AG Kharel told THT that one debtor took Rs 900,000 loan from Ray but the lender inflated the loan to Rs 2,700,000 and even transferred the ownership of the debtors’ six kattha land.

Ray had promised that he would return the debtor’s land but even after the debtor repaid him more than Rs 1.9 million, he did not return the land plot.

Kharel said he told the local residents to lodge written complaint against the alleged loan shark and the relevant government bodies would take necessary actions against them. AG Kharel also told the complainants that the government would provide security to them if they received any threat from anybody for raising their voice against the alleged loan sharks.

“As per the loan deeds, these people have invested money in billions not in crores,” he said and added that the government bodies would seriously look into the complaints lodged against the money lenders. Kharel said money lenders were exploiting locals in Tarai districts and the government would crack down on them. Kharel said he had told the law enforcement agencies to arrest another lender Sanjay Sah Rauniyar.

Wagle said that 300-400 people were the victims of Ray, who had paid off his loan but the creditor never tore the loan deed.

“In some cases, Ray gave loan to local people after getting their land ownership transferred in his name on the condition that he would return their land plots after they repay their loan but even after the debtors repay the man’s loan, he did not return those land plots to the debtors,” Wagle said.