KATHMANDU, Aug 20: A comparative data of three years maintained by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office (MPCO), Ranipokhari shows a drastic increase of 3870 percent in banking crime cases registered in the Valley in the Fiscal Year 2017/18.
Records maintained by MPCO show that the total number of criminal cases registered in the valley increased to 8,385 in the fiscal year 2017/18 from 5,926 in the fiscal year 2016/17.
The total number of banking crime cases registered in the Valley reached an all time high of 487 in fiscal year 2017/18 from 10 in fiscal year 2016/17 and seven in fiscal year 2015/16. About 87 percent (421 cases) of the cases of banking crime in the Valley in fiscal year 2017/18 were registered in Kathmandu district while 11 percent (52 cases) were registered in Lalitpur and the rest (14 cases) in Bhaktapur. In the preceding fiscal year not a single banking crime case was registered in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
MPCO officials claimed that the soaring increase in the number of banking crime cases is primarily the result of lack of banking awareness and increase in banking habit in the Valley. “Nepalis who go abroad for employment generally lack banking sense and as a result tend to use Hundi (an illegal form of money transfer) to remit money home and this is crime,” Spokesman at MPCO Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shailesh Thapa Khsetri said, “On top of that, more people are growing a banking habit in the Valley. And with the increase in the number of customers, crime cases have also increased.”
He also accused the commercial banks of not conducting a periodic review of their security system in order to keep banking crimes in check. Thapa said, “The nature of banking crime tends to develop with time. So periodic review of security system is necessary.”
Since banking crime is a type of a financial crime, the police personnel need special skills to track the criminals. “We have already started necessary training for police personnel,” SSP Thapa said.
Police have also been conducting banking sense awareness programs in order to reduce banking crimes. In November, the MPO assisted the Nepal Rastra Bank to replace the magnetic strip card system in ATMs which was fragile and could easily be broken into, with a more secure chip system.