KATHMANDU, Jan 17: Kantipur Media Group (KMG) has demanded that the government step up efforts to stamp out money laundering in Nepal.
Issuing a press statement Tuesday, the media group said that in recent days there has been a significant rise in the number of 'middlemen' in the country who have been able to create financial empires within a short period of time in collusion with and support from top political leadership.
The group expressed concerns over the failure of the authorities to investigate into suspicious monetary deals because of political pressure.
Clarifying about its series of reports on the controversial financial deals involving businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi in recent days, KMG said the reports have tried to expose suspicious financial deals.
KMG has also termed the allegations made by Sumargi against KMG founders a serious bid at character assassination.
The statement said that Sumargi, who was a man of ordinary means until a few years ago, had built his financial empire with the help of money received from unknown sources. While Rs 3 billion received in the name of Sumargi remains frozen in two banks, the Nepal Rastra Bank had earlier asked the Anti-Money Laundering Department to investigate into another Rs 8 billion suspiciously received in his name.
Arguing that a study report prepared by Anti-Money Laundering Department with support from the Central Investigation Bureau has already concluded the amount as 'illegal", KMG has said that it is now Sumargi's responsibility to reveal the sources of his funds. It has said that failure of state institutions to take action against Sumargi, whose sources of income were determined 'illegal' by the investigation of statute institutions, has made a mockery of the rule of law.