HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Special Court today slapped a one-year jail sentence and a fine of one million dollars (Rs 67.4 million) on Chinese national Wi Lixing for money laundering.
A three member bench of Judges Gauri Bahadur Karki, Om Prakash Mishra and Kedar Prasad Chalise issued the verdict today.
The bench decided to seize the amount deposited in the name of the Chinese national at Nepal Bangladesh Bank’s Bhaisepati branch.
The bench said that though he had claimed he had earned the money by legitimate means through tender, construction and even supply of goods to Nepal Police in Darfur, Sudan, he could not justify his claims.
The bench stated that Lixing had committed the offence as per Section 3, 4 (B) and 29 of Money Laundering Act, 2007 as the defendant failed to defend the means of his income and deserved punishment.
Despite being summoned twice through the publication of notice in newspapers, the Chinese national had not attended the court to face charges as he had been released by the Revenue Investigation Department during the period of investigation. While recording his statement, Lixing claimed he had earned the amount through legitimate sources.
Demanding four years jail sentence and confiscation of the amount, the Revenue Investigation Department (RID) had prosecuted him on February 25.
In the chargesheet, RID claimed that neither the government nor the transferring bank had clarified that the amount was earned through legitimate sources, which was forwarded in Lixing’s Account No 05928ID at Nepal Bangladesh Bank, Bhaisepati branch.
The RID stated that the sources of income were not revealed, the bank could not provide satisfactory details, and the forwarding US Chase International Bank also could not furnish additional details.
Claiming that the Chinese businessman had been supplying goods to Nepali Army and Police, but could not clearly state how the amount was forwarded in his name, the RID had filed the case.
It also added that though the Chinese Embassy had forwarded a letter on August 13, 2008 stating that the amount was received for purchasing goods and commission through local Bhagawati Traders, it could not justify the transfer of the amount.