Nine people arrested for extorting property trader by posing as anti-graft agency officersThe gang members were arrested from Gaurighat, Gaushala and Old Baneshwor, the commission said in a statement on Friday.
A joint team of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority and Nepal Police arrested nine people for extorting a land trader by posing themselves as the commission officers on Thursday evening.
The arrested people have been identified as Arjun Kumar Thapa Chhetri, Bijaya Rawal, Jagadish Khadka, Rajendra Kumar Shrestha, Rajesh Gurung, Shambhu Prasad Regmi, Shankar Bikram Khadka, Shyam Singh Thapa and Bibek Pokharel.
Thapa Chhetri is a self-styled astrologer who was arrested in June last year for spreading public fears about an imminent earthquake through social media. He and Rawal are said to be the ring leaders of the extortion racket.
The gang members were arrested from Gaurighat, Gaushala and Old Baneshwor, the commission said in a statement on Friday.
SSP Deepak Thapa, chief of the Crime Division at Metropolitan Police Range, told the Post that the nine men were arrested for extorting Hari Kumar Shrestha, a land trader, who had recently sold a property in Chapali, Budhanilkantha, to Nepal Electricity Authority.
“They had been threatening Hari Kumar for the last five months, saying that a complaint has been registered at the commission against him regarding the land that he sold to the Nepal Electricity Authority,” said SSP Thapa. “They had claimed that the sold property also included some public land and demanded Hari Kumar to pay Rs50 million to ‘settle the complaint’. After months of negotiations, the extortionists had lowered their demand to Rs 5 million.”
Police said that there was no complaint registered at the commission regarding the land deal between Hari Kumar and the state power utility.
The suspected extortionists had been calling and sending text messages to Hari Kumar frequently. Har Kumar was then forced to register a complaint at the commission.
The Kathmandu District Court on Friday remanded the suspects in a seven-day judicial custody pending investigation.