APF chief Onta faces suspension

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 18, 2015-

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Thursday recommended the government suspend Armed Police Force chief Kosh Raj Onta from his position for his alleged involvement in corruption.Along with Inspector General Onta, the anti-graft body has also asked the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office to suspend Deputy Superintendents of Police Suman Jung Thapa and Ram Krishna Maharjan and Inspector Bin Bahadur Thapa immediately from their positions.

A Cabinet meeting has been scheduled for Friday morning to take a decision on the matter. Additional Inspector Generals Durja Kumar Rai, Jeevan Kumar Thapa and Krishna Bahadur Tamang are the frontrunners for the position to be vacated after Onta’s suspension. While Rai has got the backing of the ruling CPN-UML,

Tamang is favoured by the UCPN (Maoist).The move from the anti-graft body follows a preliminary investigation that found them to have embezzled millions of rupees while supplying goods to police units by producing fake bills.

The CIAA bases its decision on fears that the accused could destroy evidences and influence the investigation process if they were allowed to continue in their office. The CIAA is preparing to file a corruption case against Onta and other accused paramilitary officials at the Special Court soon.

A preliminary probe found Onta’s role in pocketing millions of rupees in collusion with junior officers and the supplier, the CIAA said in a statement on Thursday.

Onta faces charges of producing fake bills without supplying goods for APF units across the country. “The bill shows millions of rupees paid to the supplier whereas the goods were never delivered,” said CIAA sources.A large amount of money was misappropriated after the APF head signed a contract with Sada Jyoti Suppliers after a tender process. Besides, millions were embezzled by calling tenders internally.

Sources privy to the investigation said IGP Onta had embezzled around Rs60 million. He is also accused of misusing the state coffers in the name of procurement and construction projects. “Investigation into procurement and construction schemes is still underway. He will be charge-sheeted soon,” said a senior CIAA official.

The official said the anti-graft body is separately probing his property following complaints of him amassing money illegally. The CIAA has already instructed the authorities to freeze his bank accounts.

In a break from the tradition of the APF chief being chosen from among officials commanding troops, Onta was appointed the IGP from a technical background in April, 2012. Soon after he took charge, the CIAA had received complaints of him abusing his authority.

Onta is the second chief of a security agency to be suspended after the 2006 people’s movement. Earlier, Nepal Police chief Ramesh Chand Thakuri was removed from the post before being

dragged to the court on corruption charges. Thakuri was accused of embezzling

Rs290 million during the purchase of logistics meant for the Nepali peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

Published: 18-12-2015 08:57

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