CIAA makes arrests in transformer scam

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    NEA officials, 2 Chinese held

    KATHMANDU, Aug 4:

    cart_trans The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has arrested officials of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and two Chinese nationals on charges irregularities while procuring substandard transformers for the NEA.

    Those arrested are NEA assistant director Harish Bahadur Pal, assistant managers Surendra Paneru and Madan Raj Chapagain, engineer Prajwal Pandey, chief storekeeper Bharat Rupakheti and transformer suppliers Hu Zheng Qiang and Zou Yi Tian of Hubei Sunlight Electric Co Ltd, China.
    “The commission has taken them into custody for further investigation,” said a statement issued by Shreedhar Sapkota, spokesperson for the anti-graft body, on Sunday. CIAA said it probed into the matter following complaints and arrested them on the basis of documents it collected during the investigation.

    CIAA officials said most of the accused NEA officials and one Chinese supplier were arrested on Friday, while a few others and one Chinese national were held on Sunday.

    The Chinese nationals were staying in Kathmandu.“The commission has been keeping surveillance over some other suspected officials and individuals as well,” said the official. The anti-corruption body has been investigating into the matter for the last three months.

    The NEA officials already taken into custody will automatically be suspended from their positions. Officials said, the commission has already informed the ministry of foreign affairs about the arrest of Chinese nationals involved in irregularities. The “sub-standard transformers” were bought and distributed in various districts some two years ago.

    NEA had earlier formed three separate probe committees to study the matter. The study found that around 1,275 transformers purchased from Hubei Sunlight Electric Co Ltd, China were of low quality. NEA´s tests in its own lab and other labs showed that the transformers had aluminum wires instead of copper wires. The public utility launched a probe into the matter after the use of substandard transformers caused excessive power leakage and explosions.

    Meanwhile, the anti-graft body has also directed the concerned agencies to protect the money deposited at the Oriental Cooperative Limited and make other necessary arrangements. The commission took the action based on media reports that the cooperative was in trouble as it stopped paying interest on around Rs 4 billion deposited at the cooperative by the public.

    Source : Republica

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    Ex NEA officials‚ Chinese suppliers held in transformer scam

    KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Sunday arrested five top former officials of Nepal Electricity Authority and two Chinese businessmen in connection with the transformer purchase scam in the country’s power monopoly.

    The anti-graft constitutional body arrested former Assistant Manager Surendra Paneru, former Assistant Director Harish Bahadur Pal, former Assistant Manager Madan Raj Chapagain, former engineer Prajwaal Pandey and former store chief Chief Bharat Rupakheti, and two Chinese nationals — Hu Zheng Qiang and Zou Yi Tian of China-based Hubei Sunlight Electric Company for supplying sub-standard transformers to the NEA.

    “They are arrested in order to continue the investigation as they were found involved in the multimillion rupee scam,” Shreedhar Sapkota, Spokesperson at the CIAA told THT Online.

    The accused were produced before the Special Court today itself.

    They have been remanded in judicial custody for 10 days for further investigation.

    The CIAA officials estimated that the officials were involved in defaulting Rs 1.5 billion from the NEA coffer.

    Source : The ‘Himalayan Times