PAC directs CIAA to expedite probe into major corruption cases

Published On: February 28, 2024 07:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 28: The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to expedite investigations into major corruption cases.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the committee summoned CIAA chief Prem Kumar Rai and other officials, urging them to accelerate investigations into cases such as TERAMOCS, the alleged Rs 700 million commission in exchange for an audio tape, and the purchase of widebody aircraft.

Before receiving instructions from the committee, Rai stated that final preparations for the trial in the TERAMOCS purchase case had been completed, and investigations were underway in the audio tape case and the widebody aircraft purchase case.

The committee instructed the government to establish bilateral and multilateral agreements to facilitate the investigation into corruption cases, citing the need for obtaining information from abroad. Rai mentioned during the meeting that the flow of information had decreased as corrupt dealings had begun to occur overseas.

In response to the queries from the MPs, Rai emphasized that it is the government's responsibility to ensure that various agencies function effectively to prevent corruption. "Government agencies have not worked according to the law. Corruption is taking place. Good governance should be maintained by the government, he said.

He emphasized the need for good governance to be maintained by the government and suggested amending the Anti-Corruption Act to expand the CIAA's jurisdiction and combat corruption more effectively.

Rai said it is necessary to clearly define in the law which decisions made by the Council of Ministers are considered policy decisions and which are considered otherwise.

Furthermore, Rai claimed that following the court order halting sting operations, instances of bribery in the transportation and customs sectors have increased. He stated, "Nowadays, bribery has increased in transport and customs," He added, "They don't take bribes directly, we have found that they take bribes through middlemen."

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