Top bureaucrats and politicians implicated in ‘refugee’ scam, former Home secy arrested

Kathmandu: With a mega racket with high profile politicians crossing across party lines and top bureaucrats in the cockpit exposed, police has arrested a former home secretary and issued warrant of arrest against a senior politician and is in the hunt for many more.

Police arrested former Home Secretary Tek Narayan Pandey and issued warrant of arrest against former Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and his son Sandeep, and Prateek Thapa, son of former Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal for their alleged involvement in fleecing money from around 8oo people promising to send them abroad as ‘Bhutani
refugees’. Pandey is currently working in Vice President’s office as the secretary.

The lead to the arrest was given by three people –Sanu Bhandari, Tek Gurung and Kesha0b Dulal, an aide to former Deputy Prime Minister and Nepali congress leader Sujata Koirala, who had been arrested six weeks ago after police received preliminary complaints from some of the victims.

Police arrested Indrajit Rai, a former Maoist member of parliament and an aide to Badal three days ago followed by Pandey today. Incidentally, Prem Rai, chief of the anti-graft constitutional body–Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Authority -had an unscheduled call on President Ram Chandra Poudel and Vice President Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav –to explain his ‘innocence’ after one of the arrested persons allegedly implicated his name in the racket. Rai was also a Home secretary some five years ago. Pandey who is being interrogated by the Police now is in judicial custody following approval of the district court.

Both Rayamajhi and Badal were senior Maoist leaders but they crossed over to the UML  earning wrath of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.