September 22: A probe committee formed to investigate the allegations against Bhishma Raj Dhungana, chairperson of the Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON), has held him accountable for abuse of authority while purchasing shares of Sarvottam Cement.
Former High Court Judge Ananta Raj Dumre, who led the committee, handed over the investigation report to Finance Minister Janardan Sharma at a program organized at the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday (September 21).
According to a source close to the Finance Minister, SEBON Chair Dhungana had provided money to his daughter to purchase shares while she was abroad. The report has concluded that he was actively involved in the purchase of shares. Upon receiving the report, Minister Sharma informed that the government would make necessary steps after studying the report.
Sarbottam Cement's shares were also found to have been bought by the wife of Chandra Singh Saud, former CEO of Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE). After the issue came to light, Saud resigned from his post to facilitate investigation.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had formed an internal committee to investigate the matter. It had also concluded Dhungana's involvement in purchase of shares in his daughter's name by ignoring his responsibilities.
The report states that Dhungana had deposited money in the account of his daughter Rebika Dhungana maintained at Laxmi Bank. Within three days, Rebika made payment to Shikha Agrawal, shareholder of Sarvottam Cement, to buy the shares.
A high-level source at the Ministry of Finance said that Bhishmaraj Dhungana's daughter had deposited Rs 2.5 million in Agrawal's account. According to the report, Bhishma Raj Dhungana deposited Rs 2.5 million from his account 02959050250610 to his daughter's account. The transaction took place while Rebika was abroad.
A probe committee was formed on September 1 to investigate Dhungana's alleged involvement in insider trading going against the code of conduct and hampering SEBON’s welfare and development of the capital market. The committee was asked to submit its report within fifteen days.