Chinese‚ Thai firms under anti-graft body’s scanner
KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today arrested Nepal Electricity Authority director and nine others, including two former officers, in another case of purchasing sub-standard transformers.
NEA Director Arjun Bahadur Chauhan, Deputy Director Mahesh Kumar Karki, former managing director Yugal Kishor Shah and several engineers and managers were among those arrested. “They have been arrested for their role in recommending, inspecting, approving and releasing payment to purchase sub-standard transformers,” Shreedhar Sapkota, CIAA Spokesperson, told The Himalayan Times. All of them are in CIAA custody.
The arrests were made after initial CIAA investigation corroborated their involvement in corruption. Two companies, one Chinese and another Thai, are under CIAA scanner in this new transformer purchase scam running into millions of rupees. CIAA did not disclose their names, citing ongoing investigation. Forty more NEA officers, past and present, are likely to face CIAA action in the scam.
Since those arrested include top NEA officers it may create a leadership vacuum in the NEA. “That is none of our concerns. The government will have to manage that,” Sapkota told this correspondent.
The CIAA had arrested 10 NEA officers on August 20, while 11 officers and three suppliers were arrested on August 4. Two separate charge sheets were filed against them at the Special Court on August 23. The arrested officers face up to 12 years in jail, while suppliers of Hubei Sunlight Co Ltd — Chairman Li Dao Gu, General Manager Hu Zheng Qiang and Zou Yi Tian —face two-year sentence.
• Arjun Kumar Chauhan, NEA director
• Mahesh Kumar Karki, NEA deputy director
• Hari Bahadur Gasi, manager
• Nimesh Kumar Pokhrel, assistant manager
• Binod Kumar Swornakar, electrical engineer
• Manoj Baral, deputy manager
• Ram Bijul Mandal, assistant electrical engineer
• Suraj Prasad Shah, engineer
• Shashi Bikram Thapa, former assistant director
• Yugal Kishor Shah, former general manager
Source : The Himalayan Times