KATHMANDU, Nov 30: The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) has unearthed more than 300 new cases of misuse of Indian Currency (IC) by eight Birgunj-based firms.
A team of the DRI and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) is looking into suspicious withdrawal of IC from three leading commercial banks by those eight firms over the past four months.
The department had dispatched a team to Birgunj last week to further investigate into IC misappropriation racket. It suspects the involvement of customs officials and staff of the banks in IC misappropriation.
“We have found more than 300 new cases of IC misappropriation by the eight firms. They were found to have withdrawn a large amount of IC from Birgunj-based bank branch of NIC Bank, Siddhartha Bank and Laxmi Bank,” Mohan Bahadur Chand, director of the DRI, said
However, the exact amount misused by those firms is still to be ascertained as investigation officials are busy verifying documents.
“Most of the cases are related to Shyam Galla Bhandar that managed to withdraw IC by producing fake documents of dry fruits and groceries imports from India,” added Chand.
About a couple of weeks ago, DRI had said it was near to completing investigation into the IC misappropriation scam that has inflicted loss worth Rs 2 billion to the national exchequer.
Preliminary investigation has showed that IC worth Rs 900 million has been misappropriated by the Birgunj-based firms alone. A joint team from DRI and NRB has found the involvement of Laxmi Traders, Maha Laxmi Enterprises, Rehan Traders, Shyam Galla Store, GS Traders, Mata Di International, Maxwell Computers and Digital World in IC misuse.
The team has suspected involvement of customs staff, employees of around a dozen banks and the traders in IC misappropriation.
Before this latest revelation, DRI had found that Laxmi Trader, Mahalaxmi Enterprises and Rehan Traders withdrew Rs 20 million from Birgunj branch of Laxmi Bank by showing fake documents of potato imports through Chhatyauli small customs under Krishnanagar Customs Office.