Nepal to probe black money accounts

 Nepal has initiated a probe into the alleged illegal deposit amounting to Rs 5.5 billion by eight Nepali nationals in a bank in Switzerland as part of a crackdown on the money laundering racket.

PTI| Updated: Feb 15, 2015, 22:44 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal has initiated a probe into the alleged illegal deposit amounting to Rs 5.5 billion by eight Nepali nationals in a bank in Switzerland as part of a crackdown on the money laundering racket.

The Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, has said it has not given any permission to these eight individuals to open the bank accounts.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has recently made revelation that Nepalese nationals had covertly deposited cash in the Geneva branch of HSBC Bank.

At the meeting of the Parliamentary Finance Committee today, the Department of Money Laundering Investigation said that process has been initiated by the Finance Ministry, Nepal Rastra Bank and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collect details of the Nepali account holders of the bank, according to the National News Agency (RSS).

Though Nepalis are allowed to operate three kinds of bank accounts ? personal, savings and investment ? legally, a diplomatic initiative is being taken to stop any Nepalese from doing so illegally, Director General of the Department Kewal Prasad Bhandari said.

He stressed on the need for enacting legislation to bring back deposits made illegally by Nepali nationals abroad.

Governor of central bank Yubaraj Khatiwada said that the central bank had directed the concerned banks and person to provide details about the Rs 3.50 billion that came to two commercial banks in Nepal from British Virgin Island in the name of businessman Ajayraj Sumargee.

The existing law of the country has a provision that the government could investigate into the suspicious money through Financial Information Unit and Department of Money Laundering Investigation.

However, one can take loan from foreign countries at maximum six per cent interest rate on the basis of recommendation of the bodies concerned.