KATHMANDU, Dec 5: Seeking to recover Rs 5.67 billion, a case was filed against 42 accused of Civil Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited, including the cooperative’s founder Ichchha Raj Tamang, at the Kathmandu District Court on Friday.
Tamang, who led the Pokhara-based cooperative for over a decade since 2000, has been charged with embezzling the aforementioned amount of the depositors. He was also a former Member of Parliament and chairperson of Civil Bank.
Based on the complaints lodged by 1,502 depositors, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police arrested Tamang on October 4. On Friday, the CIB through the public attorney office filed a charge-sheet against the accused. Apart from recovering the amount, it has also been sought to send Tamang to eight years in jail.
In a clarification submitted to the public attorney office, Tamang has defended that his company faced a financial crisis mainly due to the slowdown of his real estate business after the devastating earthquake of 2015 and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the cooperative got into trouble also due to lack of good governance practice, said its officials.
Civil Savings and Credit Cooperative started facing liquidity problems some three years ago due to its ambitious investment plan in the real estate, hotel and hydropower sectors. According to the cooperative, it has invested around 90 percent of its deposits totaling Rs 7.5 billion in the realty business operated by the group.
The Civil Group invested in 21 types of businesses. The cooperative has sunk a lot of money in Civil Homes, a housing company mainly on its ninth project in Godavari. Civil Homes sold more than 1,000 units of standalone houses and apartments.
The officials of Civil Cooperative said that Tamang, despite being declined the role of executive, used to hold full control of the financial matter of the cooperative in its day-to-day operation.
Recently, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has also warned to take into liquidation Tamang’s fixed assets in Sundhara, Kathmandu, if he fails to clear all the outstanding dues within the prescribed time. Tamang has his fixed property, including six ropanies of land and 132 shopping units constructed in 82,095 square feet area, at the location.