The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has asked the Nepal Oil Corporation (NoC) not to lift suspension imposed on three petroleum dealers and 88 fuel tankers for their involvement in petroleum theft in Bhairahawa on April 29.
Issuing a press statement on Monday, the CIAA said NOC has been asked not to lift suspension as investigation is still under way against the accused.
The anti-graft constitutional watchdog´s directive comes a week after the state-owned oil monopoly decided to waive three-month-long suspension imposed on 16 petroleum dealers for their involvement in petroleum theft. Even though the NoC board of directors had lifted suspension against 16 petroleum dealers involved in the case, the CIAA has asked to not to implement NoC´s decision to lift suspension against only three of them.
Talking to Republica, Executive Director of NOC Chandika Bhatta said they are yet to get a copy of CIAA´s directive. “We are aware of the CIAA´s decision, but we have yet to get the copy of CIAA´s directive regarding the matter,” Bhatta said, adding, “I can speak on the matter only tomorrow.”
A meeting of the NoC´s Board of Directors held on Dec 29 had lifted the suspension imposed on 16 petroleum dealers. The meeting had also overturned its earlier decision to suspend the permit of 86 fuel tankers involved in the theft. The dealers were accused of pilfering 17,000 liters of diesel.
It was learnt that the NOC board took the decision under pressure from Minister of State for Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) Giri Bahadur KC.