KATHMANDU, June 21: Three days after the UK-based Kathmandu Animal Treatment (KAT) Center (UK) accused two operators of the Kathmandu-based Kathmandu Animal Treatment (KAT) Center of embezzling a large amount of money meant to be spent for the treatment of street dogs, the KAT Center denied that no such misappropriation had taken place.
While refuting the claim of the KAT UK, the Kathmandu-based KAT Center said that it is not the local board as claimed by the UK-based NGO in its statement released on June 18. “KAT Center was founded in 2004, while KAT UK was established later in 2010 to facilitate KAT Center and ease the process of charity collection through an online platform called Paypal,” reads a statement issued by KAT Center.
According to KAT UK, Laxmi Sharma, chairperson, and Sujan Shrestha, Vice-Chairman, are named in this case ‘having set up their personal accounts to embezzle funds intended to support KAT and the animals. “Through a new PayPal link, they invited donors to send money to support our work, which was then withdrawn into their personal bank account(s). It was never directed into the KAT Centre,” reads a statement released by KAT UK on June 18.
KAT Center however, said that their vice chairman Sujan Shrestha, who was in the USA, was requested to open a Paypal account to facilitate crowdfunding in the USA later in 2014. “The board of members decided to this effect in the presence of its mentor Jan Salter,” claimed KAT Center
According to the KAT Center, vice chairman Shrestha used to issue cheques in the name of KAT Center through his personal bank account in Nepal.
Similarly, the credentials of the US-based Paypal account including ID and password was handed over to Samuel G Davies, a UK board member in 2018.
While KAT UK claimed that an amount up to $40,000 was ‘stolen’, KAT Center argued that the money collected through the US-based account was not owned by KAT UK. “Therefore, KAT UK’s claim about the embezzlement of the funds collected by KAT Center through the US-based account is a result of opportunist and malafide intention,” the Kathmandu-based NGO said.
The KAT Center claimed that the dispute arose when its Chairperson Laxmi Sharma went to the UK and ‘disclosed the bad deeds of the new office bearers Samuel Davies, Ben Charmen and Clint Powel’ after the deaths of Jan Salter.
According to the KAT Center, the UK-based NGO has stopped sending donations since October 12, 2020.
See the full statement released by KAT Center NEPAL