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26 February 2024

Nepal recalls Saudi envoy over graft claim


Nepal said on Wednesday it had recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia after he was accused of stealing insurance money from the family of a migrant worker who died there.

Justice minister Prem Bahadur Singh told AFP the envoy had failed to explain why he transferred money owed to the family of a man killed in a road accident into his personal bank account.

"It was inappropriate for him to keep the money in his account, and his actions have tarnished the image of our country," Singh added.

Former ambassador Hamid Ansari is being investigated by Nepal's main anti-corruption body.

Ansari, who is in Kathmandu, could not immediately be reached for comment, but has denied any wrongdoing and said he never intended to keep the Rs2million rupees ($27,500).

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese go abroad every year to work, most of them in the Gulf or Southeast Asia.