Businessman in trouble because of false

काठमाण्डु टुडे २०७६ साउन १ गते ११:४३ मा प्रकाशित

Kathmandu, shrawan 1-  As the consequence of the news published by Centre for Investigative Journalism

(CIJ) Nepal titled ’55 Nepalese invested in offshore companies,’ some businessmenen are

facing serious problems. Some of them have experienced problems even with their businesses

abroad. They have complained that such news stories could discourage foreign investment in

Nepal as well.

CIJ had published the story in January this year based on a global investigation carried out by

the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Niraj Govinda Shrestha, a Non-Resident Nepali businessman, has businesses over various

countries across the globe. As one of the businessmen named in the story published by the CIJ,

he submitted a formal petition at the Nepal Press Council saying that the said story was

baseless and resulted into severe personal, social and business loss to him.

According to Shrestha, because of the media reports, his daughter and son-in-law, who run

their own business in the UK, had to face financial losses due to unfounded allegations against

him. He said that CIJ never contacted him before the news was published.

Response of the CIJ and Nepal Press Council


As instructed by the Nepal Press Council, CIJ has now published Shrestha’s comments along with

the news in their website.

Kishore Shrestha, acting Chairperson of Nepal Press Council, said that the Council has

reminded the CIJ to ensure basic principles of journalism by giving an opportunity to the

people mentioned in the news to provide their side of the story. "In his petition, Niraj Govinda

Shrestha had raised the issue of code of ethics of media and we have asked the CIJ to publish

the petition filed by him.”

In their website, the CIJ has written that Shrestha has denied any involvement in the money

laundering activities. The CIJ has quoted him as saying that sources of all his investment in

Nepal were legitimate. “We never wrote that Niraj Govinda Shrestha has not disclosed sources

of his investment in Nepal,” CIJ said.

What the govt agencies say?

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Department of Money Laundering Investigation (DMLI) and Central

Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police (CIB), all three agencies have given clean chit to Dr

Shrestha. They have said that there is no complaint registered against Niraj Govinda Shrestha

in connection with money laundering charges. Jiban Prakash Sitaula, Director General of the

DMLI, said, “There was no case against Mr. Niraj Govinda Shrestha in the past as well.” CIB has

also said the same. Chintamani Shivakoti, Deputy Governor of the NRB, said, “We have not

received any complaint against Mr. Niraj Govinda Shrestha and there is no pending

investigation against him.”

Problems in investing in Nepal

The government of Nepal organised the Nepal Investment Summit in March this year with a

view to attract foreign investment. Businessmen have, however, complained that false reports

regarding investment by NRNs and other investors could jeopardise the prospect of attracting

foreign investment into the country.

“Foreign investors today have a number of options before them and countries are competing among

themselves to attract foreign investors. So, media has to be responsible not to publish any

unsubstantiated news reports that could discourage or even harass prospective foreign investors,”

said Dr Shrestha adding, “I would like to request friends in media to contact me before publishing

any reports related to my businesses.”

Copyright © 2016 Department of Information Reg No:460/074/75 About Us