‘Oriental victims need not worry’

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Kathmandu, June 6

The Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee has tried to dispel concerns raised by the victims of Oriental Cooperative and some other housing projects owned by realtor Sudheer Basnet after his release. “The process of settling the cases has already begun and it could take around a year to settle all 7,500 claims,” said Rewati Raman Pokharel, spokesperson for committee.

Following Basnet’s release after serving his two-year sentence, victims of the cooperative and housing projects owned by him had urged the Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee to keep an eye on Basnet and expedite the settlement of the cases filed by the victims.

Basnet was lodged at Dillibazar Jail after the Kathmandu and Bhaktapur District Courts issued a verdict of two years of imprisonment and Rs 59.2 million in penalties for the fraud cases filed against him.

As per Pokharel, Basnet’s release will not affect settlement of cases as physical property, bank account and travel documents of Basnet and his allies are in possession of committee.

The committee, led by Chairman of Special Court Gauri Bahadur Karki, had sought claims in between April 16 and May 20 from Biratnagar, Birgunj, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Dhangadhi.

A total of 7,500 people who claim to have fallen victim to Basnet’s schemes had submitted their application at the committee within the given deadline. Pokharel informed that Basnet had been summoned by the committee to record his testimony many times during his imprisonment and that Basnet and his allies could be summoned any time if the committee feels the need for further investigation.

The committee will settle the claims on a case by case basis prioritising depositors; outstanding dues to the government, banks; those that had made advance payments for apartments and those who provided loans for the housing projects; and owners who had rented their property to Oriental’s offices. The victims will be gradually rebated after liquidation of Oriental’s property.

The committee has been seeking help of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police to identify the physical properties and hidden properties of Basnet and the board of directors of Oriental Cooperative. It is reported that Oriental Cooperative and apartment projects initiated by Oriental Builders and Developers, Kohinoor Hill Housing, Aayusha Builders initiated by Chairman of Oriental Cooperative and realty trader Basnet misused an eye-popping Rs 4.20 billion in deposits of the cooperative and Rs 1.36 billion parked by customers for housing projects.

Majority of the commercial banks and financial institutions, including government-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank and Employees Provident Fund, had financed Oriental’s housing projects.

“The committee will calculate the liability by verifying the submitted claims while settling the cases,” said Pokharel. “While verifying the claims, documents sought by the committee along with the claims are a must. The proof of savings amount in the cooperative; share certificates; proof of loan issued to the construction company and other projects; details of fixed property as collateral and citizenship certificate will be properly verified before settling the claims.”

Written by Sandeep
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/oriental-victims-need-not-worry/ under the title “‘Oriental victims need not worry’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.