The central bank has won a six-year old case at a US court as the court vacated its earlier verdict of debiting $1 million from central bank’s account to the Standard Chartered Bank’s New York branch.
Had the central bank lost the case, it would have to return $1 million, informed said deputy governor of the central bank Maha Prasad Adhikari.
Earlier the petitioner had misled the US court by presenting central bank as a commercial bank, he said, adding that the central bank then appealed the US court in 2010, arguing that it had frozen the account according to the law of the land and that the case was sub judice in the Special Court on money laundering charges.
The central bank – with the support from the US government – had been able to get stay order on transfer of the money to the US bank as the money had already transferred to the agency account. “The court today vacated its earlier verdict to debit $1 million to the account of the Standard Chartered Bank´s New York Branch following the appeal by the central bank back in 2010,” he added.
The central bank had seized $1 million from the account of Chinese national Wu Lixiang at the Bhaisepati branch of Nepal Bangladesh Bank on July 27, 2008 suspecting it of money laundering. The amount was sent by Tarala International through Chase Manhattan Bank, US to Nepal Bangladesh Bank.
The central bank, then, had frozen Lixiang’s account suspecting that the money was a part of multi-million dollar Sudan scam.
It had also referred the case to Department of Revenue Investigation for further investigation.
However, a representative of Tarala International, US Ashim Khatri Chhetri filed a lawsuit at the court in 2010 claiming that the money sent to the account of Lixiang by his company was illegally frozen by the central bank.
Chhetri had made central bank, Nepal Bangladesh Bank and Department of Revenue Investigation as defendants in his lawsuit.
The Special Court had convicted Lixiang for money laundering in 2011 and slapped one-year jail term and a fine of Rs 67.45 million.