KATHMANDU, Dec 29: Nepal Police on Tuesday night arrested real estate entrepreneur Sudhir Basnet, who was absconding since August 2014 after the Supreme Court convicted him of defrauding several individuals, financial institutions and companies. Basnet is also the promoter of Oriental Cooperatives.
Basnet has to pay an estimated amount of Rs 8.6 billion to various banks, co-operatives and individuals.
Tipped off by a special source, the Metropolitan Police Circle, Maharajgunj with the support from a team deployed by the Verdict Implementation Directorate of the Supreme Court arrested Basnet from his residence in Dhapasi.
According to DSP Govinda Puri, chief of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Maharajgunj, Basnet was arrested around 11 pm on Tuesday while he was already in bed. After came to know about the police raid, he tried to escape from his house but only sustained injuries in his left hand, DSP Puri informed.
“We were keeping an eye on him as the SC's judgment was pending since a long time and we too had received few complaints from several victims,” SP Pradhumna Karki, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu said. Basnet was presented before the court on Wednesday and was sent to the Dillibazar Jail, Kathmandu by the court.
On August 22, 2014, the Supreme Court had found Basnet guilty and ordered his arrest. The apex court also quashed the orders of the Kathmandu District Court and Patan Appellate Court to release him on bail. A division bench of the Supreme Court justices Girish Chandra Lal and Devendra Gopal Shrestha had ordered the arrest of Basnet.
In January 2013, dozens of people had filed complaints against Basnet stating that they were duped by him after receiving hefty cash for housing apartments in various areas of Kathmandu Valley.
Based on the complaints filed by Basudev Prasad Ray and Girish Ballav Pradhan, the government had filed the case in district court. Although the victims had demanded compensation of Rs 120 million, the district court had sought a bail amount of Rs 600,000 only from Basnet in two cases.
As the government challenged the order of the district court, the appellate court further cut down the bail amount, arguing that the law would not allow them to seek more than Rs 10,000 for bail in such cases.
The government then knocked the doors of the SC claiming that the orders of both the lower courts were anomalous. The SC then handed down the final verdict against Basnet.
Likewise, several banks and financial institutions had also made complaints of default against Basnet for not paying bank interests, not repaying depositors of Oriental Cooperative Ltd and failing to ensure the delivery of apartments that were booked by the customers after the recession in real estate business due to the intervention of Nepal Rastra Bank.
Basnet was found to be hiding in various cities of India. He had come to Kathmandu about two months ago and had frequently visited his family members and residence in Dhapasi of Tokha Municipality.
SP Karki said that they would intensify investigation on the complaints registered at the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu and begin recording statements of Basnet with the permission from prison authorities from Thursday.