Kathmandu Metropolitan City Raids Sai Swagat Cooperative, Linked to Deputy Prime Minister’s Wife

April 3, 2024
Raids Sai Swagat Cooperative

Kathmandu – Authorities from the Kathmandu Metropolitan City have conducted a raid on the Sai Swagat Savings and Loan Cooperative. The cooperative’s current vice president is Nikita Poudel, wife of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane.

The raid, carried out on Wednesday by a team including city officials and Metropolitan Police, was prompted by longstanding complaints filed by savers. Authorities seized a range of documents, including minutes of the last general meeting, details of cooperative borrowers and savers, and information on board members who have taken significant loans. The cooperative’s software system was also taken for examination.

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The Kathmandu Metropolitan Municipality reports that Sai Swagat is among 40 cooperatives targeted due to a high volume of complaints. Savers have alleged that Ms. Poudel while serving as vice president, was involved in disbursing loans to individuals who subsequently absconded with the funds. Further complaints accuse the management committee of embezzling saver deposits.

While representatives of the cooperative claim a disputed sum of Rs 70 lakh has been returned, the Kathmandu investigation continues. The cooperative’s leadership is currently split into two factions, with one faction allegedly merging another cooperative into Sai Swagat without proper authorization. Sources indicate potential misuse of inter-cooperative funds.

The investigation includes a chartered accountant and assesses 40 cooperatives within the municipality based on 80 indicators.

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