Absconding ex-IGP convicted in Sudan scam surrenders

Published On: July 5, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 5: Former Inspector General of Nepal Police Ramesh Chand Thakuri, who was on the run for almost 27 months after the Supreme Court convicted him in the multi-million-rupee Sudan armored personnel carriers (APC) scam, surrendered at the court on Thursday. He was subsequently sent to Dillibazar jail.

He was convicted of corruption in the procurement of sub-standard APCs for Nepali peacekeepers deployed in Sudan. Along with Thakuri, the court had convicted former police chiefs Om Bikram Rana and Hem Bahadur Gurung.

A division bench of the then apex court chief justice Sushila Karki and Bishwambhar Shrestha had convicted IGPs --Thakuri, Rana and Gurung, former AIGs — Shyam Singh Thapa and Deepak Thangden, and the then AIGs Deepak Kumar Shrestha and Rabi Pratap Rana for their involvement in the scam. Each of them were slapped one-year jail and Rs 40,000 fine.

Although the others convicted had already surrendered to the court, Thakuri was absconding. Police officials and local supply agents had pocketed Rs 284 million out of the total Rs 430 million allocated for the procurement with the involvement of contractors from Nepal and the UK.

Earlier, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) after 19 months of investigation had filed cases accusing them of misusing Rs 284 million in the procurement scam.

Upon his surrender at the court on Thursday, Chand said he was framed and demanded a review of the conviction. In his 11-point demand registered at the court, Thakuri has argued that he had no role in the procurement of the APCs and logistics and had only signed off on what his predecessors had already decided.

“The letter of credit related to the APCs and memorandum of understanding for the purchase and their delivery was signed when Om Bikram Rana was the IGP. I had just followed the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement,” IGP Thakuri has claimed.

Meanwhile, court administration has assured that it will consider his request for review.

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