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Nepal's ex-king has hundreds of millions stashed away, author says

Nepal's ex-king has hundreds of millions stashed away, author says

Nepal's ousted king is thought to have close to 200 million dollars stashed away inside the country and even more abroad, according to an author who has probed royal finances.
Surya Thapa, a journalist who has written three books on the Himalayan royals, said ex-king Gyanendra is unlikely to feel any financial squeeze as a commoner, and that state accountants will have a tough time if they want to confiscate his wealth.
"According to my research, he has around 195 million dollars invested in around 35 companies in Nepal and may have transferred more abroad," said Thapa.
"Nobody knows how much money he has outside Nepal and there is no way anyone can find out," he said.
The author said Nepal's rulers have a history of putting their cash abroad and doing their best to conceal it.
Up to nearly three decades ago, "the royal family was very visibly investing in land, property, companies and industry," said Thapa. But a referendum in 1980 giving the royals a slim vote of approval made them fear for their future.
"The vote alarmed them so they started investing very silently" through third parties such as loyal supporters, he told Agence France-Presse.
"Gyanendra has been good at concealing his investments," said Thapa, who did his research by tracking land registration documents linked to the royals and interviewed scores of royal business associates, pro-royal politicians and palace workers.
His comments came as a government official said that Gyanendra was also refusing to cooperate with a committee set up to audit royal property and that his diamond and ruby-adorned crown had yet to be recovered.
Nepal's monarchy was abolished on May 28 by a constitutional assembly set up following a peace deal with Maoist insurgents and mainstream parties.


Updated : 2020-12-05 16:07 GMT+08:00