Probe into NOC land deals in final phase: CIAAThe Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority continues to quiz people connected with land purchase by the Nepal Oil Corporation as a part of its investigation into alleged irregularities in the deals.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority continues to quiz people connected with land purchase by the Nepal Oil Corporation as a part of its investigation into alleged irregularities in the deals.
In the past four days, the anti-graft body grilled NOC Managing Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka, who has been deputed to the Supply Ministry after being linked to the alleged irregularities; Pradip Man Basi, former board director; and Laxman Shrestha, who represented the NOC board as the officiating director general of the Department of Supply Management.
After quizzing Khadka on Tuesday and Wednesday, the CIAA enquired Basi on Thursday and Shrestha on Friday. “We are in the final phase of investigation into the NOC land case,” said CIAA Spokesperson Padam Prasad Pandey.
According to Pandey, the anti-graft body is preparing to grill Binod Moktan and Phurba Lama, two middlemen helping the NOC buy land plots at “inflated” rates.
Top NOC officials are charged with large-scale irregularities while purchasing land patches in Chitwan, Bhairahawa, Jhapa and Sarlahi districts at “highly inflated” prices through middlemen to build oil storage facilities.
Earlier, the CIAA enquired half a dozen NOC staffers, including Managers Pushkar Karki and Shailendra Bhusal and Deputy Manager Arjun Poudel. The anti-graft body grilled around 200 people linked with the deals during its field study and after concluding the trip, Pandey said.
Earlier, a ground report prepared by a subcommittee of the Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee of the erstwhile Legislature-Parliament showed that the NOC paid three to four times the going rates for the land.
“We’re interrogating the top officials involved to see if they decided to pay more to benefit themselves while harming the NOC,” said a CIAA source.