KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Monday filed a corruption case against former Nepal Oil Corporation executive director Gopal Khadka on the charge of accumulating more than Rs 186.6 million in unexplained wealth.
Khadka, who has been accused of embezzling millions while procuring land for setting up fuel storage facilities in various districts outside Kathmandu, has been facing accusations of accumulating property without known legal sources, in the course of his tenure in government service.
The amount of unexplained property, according to the anti-graft agency’s spokesperson Ramshwar Dangal, was determined by calculating his income and expenditures and existing total property and comparing these with his ancestral property. In its charge sheet filed at the Special Court, the fast-track court that deals with corruption cases, the CIAA has demanded that Khadka deposit an amount of more than Rs 8.9 million cash at the court.
Despite his limited income, Khadka has constructed or procured three buildings and made down payments on the purchase of two houses in Kathmandu, quite apart from his ancestral home. Also, he has purchased 11 plots of land in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kavre districts, according to the charge sheet.
As per the property details collected by the anti-graft body, Khadka took in Rs 4.57 million as salary, Rs 5.8 million from land sale, Rs 50.33 million as a loan, Rs 1.3 million from house rent, Rs 2.9 million while retiring from service, and Rs 1.4 million as pension. He received Rs 826,913 from remittances. Apart from this, he earned Rs 1.04 million from selling vehicles and the salaries of his son and daughter contributed Rs 1.1 million.
CIAA investigators say Khadka has amassed properties worth Rs 273 million while his income from legal sources was just Rs 86.4 million. Calculations from these figures show that the former bureaucrat has amassed around Rs 186 million in unexplained wealth.
His property details show that Khadka transferred assets of Rs 70 million under the names of his wife Sharmila and Amita Lama, a local of Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu. The anti-graft body has demanded that the court seize the assets transferred to his relatives and others.
Khadka had opened bank accounts in Amita’s name at Machhapurche Bank and Citizens Bank, and is using Amita’s ATM card in an attempt to hide his assets, CIAA said.
A corruption complaint was filed against Khadka some six years ago claiming that the former government engineer amassed millions through abuse of his authority. Going through his property details, the anti-graft body investigators concluded at the time that Khadka’s earnings [including his son and daughter’s salaries] were just Rs 80.64 million.