Century Commercial Bank recently lost Rs 50 million due to unscrupulous business practices, but the central bank is yet to take action against the concerned employees.
The story begins with the ‘A’ class bank signing an agreement with M&M, ‘a Mauritius-based company’ on 25 March 2016. Under the deal, Century was to pay local customers against receipts sent by M&M in remittances. Following the deal, M&M issued a receipt to Century requesting payment of Rs 50 million to local clients, to which the bank complied. But M&M never sent the amount to the bank, leaving a hole in its books. But the bank continued to do business with M&M even after it defaulted on its payment.
M&M, owned by Manish Raj Pant, is currently out of operation, according to dristinews.com. The website says that as Pant is absconding, the company, it is believed, was established to defraud the bank.
However, the central bank hasn’t taken any action against the bank’s employees who signed an agreement with the company without proper background check. Due to institutional corruption, the bank is at the bottom of the list of commercial banks.
According to the website, Nepal Rastra Bank first sent a letter to Nepal Police to investigate irregularities in Century Bank and take necessary action. But it again issued another letter asking police not to proceed with the investigation immediately.
The report suggesting that action be taken against the bank employees was prepared six months ago. However, sources say that the investigation was hampered after the involvement of the bank’s promoters.
“We had decided to write to the Central Investigation Bureau asking for investigation,” an NRB source says. “But it was suddenly decided that the investigation was to be directed towards the revenue department. A concrete decision has still not been made.”
Had the CIB investigated the incident, several employees, including the then CEO, could have been arrested.