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Treasure hunting the royal fortune

world Updated: Dec 15, 2011 01:49 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Interested in taking part in a treasure hunt? If yes, here’s your chance to earn a reward for this Christmas and New Year festivities. But there’s a catch. There’s no map to follow clues and no guarantee how much you can expect to win, if you manage to trace the ‘hidden fortune’.

On Monday, Office of Nepal Trust, the government body formed to track down assets of late King Birendra Shah and his family, announced a prize to anyone providing information about unaccounted assets of the former royals.

Set up in 2006, before abolition of monarchy, the trust has been entrusted by the interim constitution the task of bringing all properties of the late king and his family including those of his brother former King Gyanendra under government control to be used for national benefit.

Here’s what could be of interest to those outside Nepal.

The trust will also have to find out about assets and properties the former royal family had outside the country.
Till date it has not been successful in getting info on those undiscovered treasures stashed abroad.

Assets taken under control by the trust include 6244 ‘ropanis’ of land (19.66 ropanis = one hectare), £44,116 and NRs 122,890,734 deposited in banks. All these have transferred to the trust’s bank account.

A news report in June stated that over 142,000 shares held by the former royals in a bank, an industrial development corporation and a five star hotel had also been acquired by the trust. But it’s not been all easy going thus far.

The trust had difficulty in ascertaining whether the royals had deposited money in any foreign banks and initiatives through diplomatic channels to trace accounts in 10 countries had yielded no result.

It had not been able to make proper use of properties, buildings and plots of land brought under its control. There were also protests from land tillers who had been cultivating agricultural land belonging to the royals.

Now with the announcement of a reward there’s hope that enthusiastic treasure hunters will track down bank accounts and other property details of the former royal family — in Nepal and outside.