Nepal panel to probe corruption allegations in UN arms deal

Nepal set up a panel to probe allegations of corruption in the UN arms deal in Sudan.

Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 19:25 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal on Thursday set up a top panel
to probe the poor quality of armoured carriers for its UN
peace keeping force in Sudan that has sparked a row in the
country, amid allegations of corruption in the arms deal.

The government has formed a five-member committee to
probe allegations of sub-standard Armoured Personnel Carriers
(APC) and other logistics for the Nepal Police personnel who
have been deployed in Darfur for the last three years.
As per media reports around NRs. 350 million has been
embezzled in the deal.

The corruption allegation has sparked a row in the
country, with the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament
directing the government to take action against those
responsible for supplying the low quality armoured vehicles to
the Nepalese blue helmets deployed in Sudan.

The government has decided to procure APC and other
logistics for 140 Nepal Police personnel deployed in Darfur,
after the UN warned to repatriate the Nepalese security
personnel who were in the country to maintain peace during a
crucial referendum.

The cabinet has decided to release NRs. 300 million to
begin procurement of the APCs and other equipments, sources

The government would extract the loss incurred from
the persons involved in the procurement at the recommendation
of the probe committee, said Shanker Pokharel, the government
spokesman and Minister for Communication and Information.

The coalition led by caretaker Prime Minister Madhav
Nepal has written a letter to the UN in Sudan assuring the
earliest supply of the APCs and other logistics.

The government has requested the UN not to repatriated
Nepalese security personnel from Sudan after yesterday`s
crucial cabinet meeting decided to procure the APCs, according
to cabinet sources.

The UN had warned that it would not be able to deploy
the Nepalese personnel if the necessary equipments did not
reach the restive nation by January 9.