Karmapa cash row: Couple arrested in Delhi


Dharamsala: Himachal Pradesh Police Thursday arrested a couple in New Delhi in connection with seizure of Rs.1 crore from two people that was meant as part-payment by the Karmapa’s trust to buy land in Kangra district, police said.

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“The couple, Karma Thapa and his wife Rinzin, was charged with arranging money for the monastery. They were interrogated for the past three days and were arrested from Majnoo-Ka-Tila in Delhi,” a police official said.

He said the couple failed to disclose the source of the money that was seized from Mehatpur in Una district of Himachal Pradesh Jan 25.

It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore that the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery, where the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has been residing for the last few years with his followers, was raided Jan 28 and about Rs.7 crore in foreign and Indian currency recovered.

Denying all allegations, the Karmapa told the investigating agencies that the money seized during the raids was given by his devotees and he had not done anything to harm India’s interests.

A string of central government agencies is attempting to get to the bottom of the recovery of unaccounted currency that includes 1.1 million Chinese Yuan (Rs.7 million) and over $600,000 (Rs.27.4 million).

Seven people, including the Karmapa’s aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, are in police custody.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.