Lama sent to one year in prison for laundering moneyGanesh Lama was among five 'notorious dons’ against whom the Department of Money Laundering Investigation had filed cases on charges of amassing millions of rupees illegally.
The Special Court on Thursday convicted 'notorious gangster' Ganesh Lama on the money laundering charge.
A joint bench of judges—Chairman Babu Ram Regmi and members Dwarikaman Joshi and Ratna Bahadur Bagchand—slapped Lama with a one-year jail term and confiscation of his property worth Rs14.05 million after finding him guilty of illegally amassing property equivalent to the amount.
However, the court has acquitted Lama's family members—his wife Laxmi Lama, father Palsang Lama, mother Ranju Lama and brothers Binod Lama and Rakesh Lama.
But the value of his property that the court has ordered for confiscation is lower than the amount that the prosecutor had demanded. "The value of confiscated property is much lower as the court didn't consider his income before the enforcement of the Money Laundering Prevention Act in 2008 illegal," said Nagendra Pokharel, spokesperson for the Special Court. The Department of Money Laundering Investigation (DoMLI) had charged Lama with illegally amassing property worth Rs270 million.
"The court also didn't consider Lama's properties which were under investigation at the Office of Attorney General (OAG). The OAG had cleared him of any wrongdoing on July 4, 2010," Pokharel said.
Lama was among five 'notorious dons’ against whom the Department of Money Laundering Investigation (DoMLI) had filed cases on charges of amassing millions of rupees illegally. The department on May 19, 2013 had filed separate cases against Deepak Manage, Milan Chakre, Parshuram Basnet, Abhisek Giri and Lama. While all five have strong political connection, Lama is the only one who has been convicted on the money laundering charge.
Lama is now associated with the Nepali Congress, while Manange, Chakre and Basnet are considered close to the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). Lama, who had joined Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar's Nepal Loktantrik Forum, followed the leader into the NC after the merger between the parties.
Lama had contested the provincial assembly elections from Kavrepalanchok-1 (B) last year.
On August 20 last year, the court had acquitted Manage on the charge. Another gangster Chakre Milan got a clean chit on January 24 followed by Basnet on April 8 and Giri on June 19 this year.