Home Minister’s brother, along with eight others, face charges of extortionThe Central Investigation Bureau on Sunday detained Naresh Thapa and his accomplices for their alleged involvement in threatening several contractors.
Police on Thursday produced Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s younger brother Naresh Thapa, along with eight others, before the Kathmandu District Court. They are facing charges of extortion.
The court on Thursday recorded statements from three of the charged.
As the court proceedings ended for the day, Thapa and the rest of the defendants were taken back to custody, said Dipak Regmi, spokesperson for the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police.
The Central Investigation Bureau on Sunday had detained Naresh Thapa and his accomplices for their alleged involvement in threatening several contractors if they failed to hand over demanded payments.
Thapa was taken under custody for his alleged involvement in the extortion scheme carried out in connivance with Samirman Basnet, who is alleged to be the mastermind of the murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan, the former chairman of the Federation of Construction Contractors two years ago.
CIB investigation found that Thapa was in constant contact with Basnet, and messages were constantly exchanged between them, according to investigating officials. Statements provided by two other detainees, Pawan Khadka and Suren Nagarkoti, who were arrested around two months ago, also corroborated the CIB’s findings.
“While investigating the case, we found the connection between Thapa and two of these detainees who were arrested on the charge of extorting contractors,” Regmi told the Post. “Accordingly Thapa was taken into custody, and has been in CIB custody since Sunday.”
Additionally, police officials suspect Basnet, the accused murderer, currently held in the Central Jail, was running the extortion racket from behind bars.
Kantipur on Thursday reported that police had tried to hush up the arrest of Thapa citing “the difficulty the department could face” because the arrestee is the home minister’s brother.