National

Mahato denies taking wealth to foreign countries

  • “Center for Investigative Journalism report created an illusion by alleging me of financial wrongdoing”
- Anuj Kumar Adhikari, Kathmandu

Jan 18, 2019-

Businessmen Upendra Mahato has denied having invested in offshore companies and bringing investment into Nepal from tax havens as a foreigner.

“Recent reports based on the findings of the Centre for Investigative Journalism create an illusion by alleging me of financial wrongdoing,” Mahato, the former president of the Non-resident Nepali Association, said in a statement on Friday.

 

A CIJ-Nepal report on Wednesday said Mahato and his brother, with a nexus of foreign nationals and politicians, set up offshore companies and used the country’s major mobile network operator Ncell to launder black money under foreign direct investment while taking the profit to foreign countries.

Refuting the report, Mahato said: “Whatever investments that I have made in Nepal were as a Nepali. I have not invested in any projects in Nepal as a foreigner.”

Also read: Flouting laws, dozens of Nepalis invested in companies in tax haven nations

Mahato said that he has been abroad for the last four decades for education and expanding business and have been investing in companies in foreign lands. “It is disheartening to see the names of my family members especially my brother Birendra Prasad Mahato and sister Juli Kumari Mahato dragged into unnecessary controversy,” said Mahato.

Mahato, when was approached by CIJ-Nepal regarding his associations with Ajeya Raj Sumargi and offshore companies like Airbell, Zhodar and TeliaSonera, had declined to comment and said he had “no information about it”.

Mahato is a well known philanthropist and international entrepreneur with business ventures in many European and Asian countries. He is also past and founding president of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association.

Earlier on Thursday, Chandra Prasad Dhakal, chairman of IME Group of Companies and Rajendra Bajgain, a central committee member of the Nepali Congress, who were among more than 50 Nepalis named by the CIJ-Nepal for their alleged involvement in investing in offshore companies and bringing in foreign direct investment in Nepal from tax havens, had denied any wrongdoings claiming they have complied with the country’s law while running their businesses.

 Dhakal had blatantly denied establishing companies in tax haven countries or bringing in any foreign direct investment from such countries. He also denied having any account in the Swiss bank as alleged by the report of CIJ-Nepal.

Also read: These are the Nepali—and non-resident Nepali—elites with investment in offshore companies

 

Published: 18-01-2019 19:29

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