British police probing corruption charges against Gurkha charity in Nepal

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London, Mar. 14 (ANI): British police is probing allegations that Gurkha soldiers hoping to settle in UK are being forced by the Gurkha Army's Ex Servicemen's Organisation (GAESO) to pay hundreds of pounds for legal advice.

The British Ministry of Defence, along with the Ministry of Justice, is investigating the charity's 500-pound fees and the referrals, mainly to Howe and Co, a London firm which has represented many former Gurkhas in their struggle to be allowed to live in Britain.

According to The Telegraph, the Kent police is at "discussion stage" over a complaint from Bhin Tumbahamphe, a former Gurkha, now living in the county.

The former serviceman has made serious financial allegations against GAESO.

In addition, Gopal Chintan, GAESO's former legal adviser, says he has made a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police over alleged death threats to him from Padam Gurung, the president of the charity, after a Gurkha rally in Britain last year.

Last week, British Defence Minister Kevan Jones accused Gurkha campaigner Joanna Lumley of "deathly silence" over the allegations.

He also told the parliament that there was no need to pay these charges because the Ministry of Defence's Gurkha Settlement Office in Nepal provides such help for free.

Jones highlighted the alleged relationship between the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation and Howe and Co.

"As I understand it, you go to Gaeso, a voluntary donation is made of about 500 pounds and you then get passed on to Howe and Co. I am not sure what the relationship is then," he said.

"Howe and Co were the solicitors arguing for the campaign, along with Joanna Lumley. Gaeso, I understand, organised her victory tour to Nepal," he added.

However, O'Rourke, a partner with Howe and Co, said: "We've never taken a penny from Gaeso, we're never taken a penny from a Gurkha." (ANI)

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