SARLAHI, Sept 3: Police in Sarlahi district are probing Shyam Krishna Kalawar for alleged involvement in money laundering also. He is already under investigation for duping hundreds of impoverished locals with faked loan documents.
An investigation into Kalawar’s assets was initiated after he was alleged to be investing huge amounts of unexplained money. Police took Kalawar into custody Sunday following allegations against him of ruining hundreds of poor farmers through fake loan documents and of sexually abusing creditor women when they went to him to repay loans or interest.
He was stopped by police while he was apparently headed for Kathmandu to avoid arrest in the district. He is now in police custody.
“Along with accusations of fraud we are investigating him for any involvement in money laundering,” said Superintendent of Police Gopal Chandra Bhattarai, adding, “The Department of Money Laundering Investigation has deputed us for the money laundering probe.”
SP Bhattarai, who is police chief in Sarlahi, said they will forward the file to the DMLI once the preliminary investigations into money laundering are done. He also cited lack of local expertise for such probes.
Kalawar was taken into custody after Rukmini Chaudhary, a local of Lalbandi, Sarlahi, filed a complaint against him at the DPO for producing faked loan documents to overcharge interest on loans. Chaudhari had borrowed Rs 450,000 from Kalawar and ended up repaying Rs 900,000. Kalawar had demanded Rs 1,500,000 and threatened to take her to court.
Locals, however, say they are not confident Kalawar will face any action on the money laundering count. They also said he had issued loans in the names of members of his family, including daughter and daughter-in-law.
Kalawar’s alleged loan victims protested locally in the beginning but have now moved their protests to Kathmandu.
Kalawar has filed cases against 299 locals, accusing them of not clearing their loans. He has the loan documents with thumb prints, and although these may not be notarized he wins most cases. Some of his loan recipients are already behind bars.
Three locals unable to repay loans claimed by Kalawar have committed suicide.