KATHMANDU, Aug 2: Interpol´s most wanted, Unity Life International (ULI) Chairman Kashiram Gurung aka Prasad, has been arrested on Tuesday night from Pashupati Bazar, Ilam. He was accused of swindling over Rs 3.8 billion from gullible members of pyramid scheme run by the company.
A police squad under the command of Inspector Abadhesh Bista arrested Gurung, who had been hiding in different places of India.
Gurung was made public amid a press conference at the Metropolitan Police Office, Lalitpur Wednesday evening.
Lalitpur Police chief SSP Rajendra Man Shrestha said Gurung was in hiding at his relative´s house in Sikkim for a long time. SSP Shrestha said, "Gurung was arrested following a tip-off that he was holding a driving licence (198337) issued from Shilong, Meghalaya under the name of Binit Kumar Lama." Police said investigation is on and accused Gurung would be prosecuted under the Banking Offence and Punishment Act.
Interpol had issued a diffusion notice against Gurung and three others -- ULI managing director Bishnu Bahadur Chhetri, finance director Krishna Bahadur Chhetri and promoter Mahendra KC -- at the request of Nepal Police.
Two years ago, the home ministry had directed the police to arrest them for illegally running the pyramid scheme business and swindling the members.
Gurung said, "Unity needs time to be able to return the clients´ money. We are also ready to pay tax and VAT to the government. Instead of prosecuting us, the government should support us in running the business." He also added that ULI can be transformed into share.
Police have confiscated a debit and two credit cards from Gurung. The two credit cards have been issued in the name of Jaya Maya Gurung and Bharat Yatra.
The company was offering two long-term social security schemes -- an assurance plan and a health plan. Under the assurance plan, the company was charging its clients Rs 15,000 (US$ 210), promising accidental death insurance of half a million rupees and assurance coverage of Rs 100,000 in case of natural death.
Under its health plan, the company was charging clients Rs 15,750 (US$ 191) for life-long free health checkups and a treatment package at hospitals in 19 districts. While some of its hospitals in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Itahari had modest facilities, others were more like private clinics.
The company was also selling travel and assurance plan to overseas clients.
The company paid each member a a commission of US$ 10 for adding two more members, US$ 20 for adding four, US$ 40 for six, US$ 80 for eight and US$ 140 for inducting 10 clients in the network.