Live on

रेडियो अर्थ सरोकार

Listen to live radio.

Vice Chairman and Four Others Detained in the Lalupate Cooperative Scandal

Vice Chairman and Four Others Detained in the Lalupate Cooperative Scandal


The police have arrested five additional individuals, including Arjun Chaulagain, the vice chairman of Lalupate Multipurpose Cooperative Limited, Khotang, in connection with the embezzlement case of the savings depositors. In addition to the former chairman of the management committee, Anil Joshi, and his family, three others have been arrested for further investigation. The police took into custody Vice-Chairman Chaulagain, Secretary Manoj Rai, Treasurer Rama Shakya, Coordinator of the Audit Committee Pritam Shrestha, and Accountant Sumana Rai on Sunday.

In relation to the financial irregularities in the cooperative, a former member of the management committee has accused the officers of the committee, who were brought under control by summoning them to the office for investigation. “We have made public the evidence against the borrowers. They are the ones responsible. Currently, no one who has been arrested is guilty. Secretary Manoj Rai himself made the evidence against the borrowers on Magh 6 last year. After he was arrested by the police, how does the investigation process move forward?” said a former member, without mentioning their name. “It is necessary to conduct an impartial investigation in this matter. No one should be harmed without reason. The guilty will not be acquitted.”

The spokesperson of the district police office in Khotang, Inspector Benju Karki, has revealed that an investigation has been launched into additional individuals regarding the financial irregularities that occurred in the cooperative. “There have been financial irregularities found at Lalupate Cooperative Limited. We have seen the situation where the committee members need to be controlled for conducting further investigations,” he said. “The committee members who have been taken under control for investigation will be presented at the district court in Khotang on Sunday, and the investigation will begin with an additional day added to the deadline. We hope that the result of this matter will be positive.”

In reference to the announcement made by the savings account holder that their total savings have been lost, the district police office in Khotang made a public announcement on Falgun 2, 2079, that eight people, including five members of the former chairman Joshi’s family, were arrested. Based on the announcement made by the savings account holder, a police team from the district went to Kathmandu and arrested Sunil Joshi and his wife Ravina Shrestha (Joshi) on Aswin 13, and manager Ruku Joshi on Aswin 17.

Three individuals who were arrested in Kathmandu a month ago have been kept in custody by the police at the district police office in Khotang for investigation. Sunil Shrestha, who is also a captain for Shree Airlines, was among those arrested. The police had not made their investigation public until now, revealing the names of the main culprits involved in the embezzlement. The financial report of the cooperative for the fiscal year 2077-2078 mentions that their families have taken loans of more than 15 million rupees.

The land purchased in the name of the cooperative was found to be in the name of the former chairman’s family and his acquaintances. The police have not yet arrested them, even though the money from the savings account was used to purchase the land. The former member of the management committee, who revealed this information, has stated that since the establishment of the office in Diktel Bazaar on Mangsir 10, 2072, the cooperative’s embezzlement has been ongoing.

It was only revealed after the death of the former chairman, Joshi, due to a COVID-19 infection on baishakh 15, 2078, in Pokhara, as reported by family sources. After the death of the former chairman, Joshi, the cooperative’s financial business has been halted since Baishakh 16, 2078. Out of the members of the cooperative, around 4.5 million rupees have been saved, while 74 individuals have taken loans. The financial report mentions that the borrowers of the cooperative have taken loans ranging from a minimum of 30,000 rupees to a maximum of 7.5 million rupees. Apart from the cooperative’s land, it is mentioned in the audit report that loans amounting to nearly 100 million rupees, including interest, have been invested.

The audit report shows that the savings account holder should be refunded nearly 70 million rupees with interest. The former chairman of the cooperative had difficulty repaying the debt due to Joshi’s death, according to other members of the board of directors. In September of last year, savings account holders protested in Khotang bazaar, demanding action against those responsible for their savings being lost and the return of their savings. They demanded that those arrested not be released and that other culprits be immediately arrested and brought to justice. The savings account holders who did not receive their savings back have accused some other cooperatives operating in the district of embezzlement. There are 181 cooperative institutions operating in the district, which has ten local levels.

Comment your feedback: