Prithvi Bahadur Shah and Finance Minister and NRB Governor clash: Your answers to the FAQ

According to a report prepared by the Financial Information Unit (FRC) of Nepal Rastra Bank, Prithvi Bahadur Shah appears to have paid out Rs 90 million which he earned through fraud, crime, revenue leakage and criminal profiteering overseas via online means.

During the investigation, it was reportedly revealed that he opened at least half a dozen businesses and attempted to transfer money from the US using the same details in all. The companies he is involved in are World Travels and Investment Pvt Ltd, World First Holiday Pvt Ltd, World Wide Remit Pvt Ltd, World Export and Import Pvt Ltd and Times Today Peace Holiday Environment Pvt.

On December 22, 2020, it was first announced that Shah’s World Travels and Investment Pvt Ltd raised USD 35,900 in Nepal. However, the name of the sender (Katherine Greene) was later revealed, creating suspicion about the transaction. The central bank found that out of the Rs 400 million Shah brought to Nepal, Rs 90 million was directly generated by the crime. On March 22, 2021, using online means, he brought the money from Standard Chartered Bank of New York as capital for investment here.

Following the immediate intervention of the NRB, the amount was frozen. Meanwhile, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also sent a request to the national bank to return all the money, saying it was earned through criminal activity. They mentioned that Shah and his associates transferred around Rs 90 million in 17 criminal activity transactions.

In response, the NRB, in an internal statement, said it had withheld funds “based on information obtained through a highly confidential international information network” from FinCEN.

It was also revealed that Shah was charged with the same and was arrested four years ago for trading in Indian rupees. Shah, however, maintained that he had legitimately brought cash to a press conference.

But now Shah has reportedly submitted a request to the finance minister, asking him to help him recover the money, sparking further controversy.