DHANGADI, July 26: Bhojraj Biswakarma (45) living in Dhangadi-7, Kailali, made a decision to start a business. He had 11 and a half kathha of land. And that was all. He did not have a job.
The bank refused to provide loan as he did not have a regular source of income. In the mean time he met one Shekhar Munir Ahamad, who was ready to lend him money on collateral. Ahamad made a paper loan of Rs 8 million and mortgaged his land. But Biswakarma never got the money. With the dream of starting a business scattered, he is now looking for help to recover his land.
“Making a paper loan, he put my land on collateral but did not give me the money,” Biswakarma told journalists. “Please help me find justice.” According to Biswakarma, Ahamad initially told him that he would give the money, but now he is threatening to kill him. He put his land on collateral on July 11, 2016.
Similarly, Laxmi Bista from Dhangadi sub-metropolitan had put her relative’s land on collateral with Ahamad. Putting up one kattha of her relative Parvati Khadka’s land and one house with two katthas of land as guarantee, she made a paper loan. She made a paper loan of Rs 3 million for the land and Rs 3.5 million the house.
“He did not give me money after putting up the collaterals,” she said, adding: “He has betrayed us.”
There are nine stories similar to these. And they do not sound any less than movies on fraud.
Mahamati Kunwar from Jugeda-12 and Kamal Bahadur Tamang, Dhan Bahadur Tamang, Dorje Lama, Parva Tamang, and Sagar lama of Phulbari sought loans from bank to buy electric rickshaws but they did not get the loans. One dairy trader Dipak Khadka, whom they knew as they were all dairy farmers themselves, came to help them. He said he would get the loan from bank by keeping his own business farm as guarantee.
“We tried to take loan from Bank of Kathmandu by putting our land as the collateral,” Kamal Bahadur Tamang said. “We tried to put 22 kattha land of Mahamati, 9.5 kattha of mine, 2.5 kattha of Dhan Bahadur, 15 kattha of Dorje Lama and 41 kattha of Parva to take Rs 3 million loan”.
After starting the banking process, Khadka asked them to put their lands as collateral but take the loan in the name of his farm. He wanted Rs 30 million in loan.
“At first we refused to take Rs 30 million by putting our land as collateral,” Tamang said, adding: “But when he said that the loan would be on partnership and he will also put his assets worth Rs 13 million as collateral, we agreed.”
Out of the loan issued from the bank, Sagar got Rs 500,000; Parva got Rs 600,000 and Dorje got Rs 1.1 million. Similarly, Dhan Bahadur got 400,000 and Kamal Bahadur got 300,000.
“After three months we were preparing to pay our loans and take back the land ownership certificate,” said Parva Tamang. But then Dipak Khadka ran away who they found him to be involved in steep interest transaction. And then they realized they were duped.
Except for the land of Mahamati, the others’ land was found to be mortgaged with Ahamad. Only Mahamati’s land was with the Bank of Kathmandu as collateral. Dipak Khadka had left a diary at home, where he noted that Ahamad had taken all of the money of steep interest. The police have refused to take any action based on a personal diary, which they say is without proof.
Ahamad started threatening the borrowers of fraud, claiming that he had to receive Rs 5 million from Dipak Khadka. But as Khadka went missing last year, Ahamad had sued the victims instead.
“We don’t have anything to do with Ahamad,” one of borrowers, Sagar Lama, said, adding: “And we losing our five bighas of land. Despite that, we are now facing threat.”
Sagar said that they were ready to repay their loans to get back their land. According to him both the Bank of Kathmandu and Ahamad have sued them for fraud. After the main culprit Dipak Khadka ran away, the bank has filed fraud cases against all five of them.