Influential businessman and supermarket owner Min Bahadur Gurung arrested over Lalita Niwas land grab scam

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Min Bahadur Gurung, the owner of Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket, has been arrested in connection to his involvement in the Lalita Niwas land grab scam. 

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police arrested him this morning.

Gurung, Nepal’s influential businessperson, faces charges of illegally transferring part of Lalita Niwas land which covers the areas of Official Residence of Prime Minister and Nepal Rastra Bank, to his ownership.

[Related: Government attorney office returns probe report on Lalita Niwas land grab scam to CIB]

Gurung was found guilty of producing fake documents to illegally transfer the government land to individuals’ name, according to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police. 

In February 2022, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed a case against 110 people including former Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar in the controversial land scam while 65 persons and organizations were named defendants to regain the land. 

[Related: CIB submits probe report on Lalita Niwas land grab scam]

Gurung is the owner of Nepal’s popular retail chain Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket. In the past, his connection with the ruling CPN-Maoist leaders had become controversial in Nepal. 

CPN-UML vice chair Bishnu Paudel and Supreme Court Justice Kumar Regmi were also linked to the scam in the initial phase.The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), however, had decided to not lodge corruption case against both of them after they agreed to return the land registered in the name of Paudel’s son Navin Paudel and Regmi, respectively.