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Demonstrators and police in Nepal capital clashed Saturday as 30,000 opposition supporters ...
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An investigation has been launched by Nepal authorities into claims that a number of citizens was storing 'black money' in a Swiss bank account. Eight Nepali citizens are under investigation over the 5.5 billion rupee deposit ($USD 55 million). Nepal's central bank, the Nepal Rastra Bank, is one of a number of government authorities participating in the probe. The others are the Finance Ministry,  and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Department of Money Laundering Investigation is heading the investigation, at the instigation of the Parliamentary Finance Committee which met on Sunday.

The bank where the allegedly illegal deposit is being held is believed to be the HSBC Private Bank in Switzerland, in its Geneva branch. The bank has been the subject of intense scrutiny following its release of private banking information of 30,000 of its customers, many of whom have been alleged to have been depositing money with the bank illegally. The bank reportedly held as much a $102 billion in what has been described in the main as illicit deposits.

“Although there are numerous legitimate reasons to have a Swiss bank account, in some cases individuals took advantage of bank secrecy to hold undeclared accounts. This resulted in private banks, including HSBC’s Swiss private bank, having a number of clients that may not have fully met their applicable tax obligations,” HSBC said in a statement. “We have taken significant steps over the past several years to implement reforms and exit clients who did not meet strict new HSBC standards, including those where we had concerns in relation to tax compliance.”
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More than 2,300 people have died following the deadliest earthquake in Nepal for more than 80 years, according to police.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck an area of the country between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, but deaths were also reported in India, Bangladesh, Tibet and on Mount Everest.

An avalanche on the mountain killed eight people.

The government of Nepal has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas, and the international community has rallied to help, with several countries around the world offering support.

Little is known about the state of affairs in the epicentre, where extensive damage has been reported, and there are fears the death toll could rise much further.

The United States has announced it is sending a disaster response team to the country and has released an initial US $1-million to address immediate needs, according to USAid.

A military transport plane with three tonnes of supplies and a 40-strong disaster response team has been sent by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Officials have indicated three more planes would follow, carrying a mobile hospital and further relief teams. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has also pledged help for the Nepalese authorities.

Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom has said Britain "will do all" it can to help those suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake, while French President Francois Hollande said France was ready to respond to any request for aid and assistance.

The death toll was initially reported as more than 1,150, later confirmed at 1,800, but by Sunday had pushed above 2,300 but with many more people still trapped under the rubble, rescuers are warning of a difficult week ahead for the country. Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said Sunday the so-far confirmed deaths in Nepal were 2,263. Another 56 people have died in India, mostly in the state of Bihar. One death has also been reported in Bangladesh following what is regarded as the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since 1934 when 8,500 were killed.

Local television footage showed rescuers in Kathmandu, where many historic buildings were destroyed, desperately digging through rubble with their bare hands in search of survivors.
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Nepal National is a sought-after news resource for Nepal and its capital Kathmandu.
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Nepal National is an online news service covering Nepal, it's capital Kathmandu and the Southeast Asian region in which it is situated. Aside from news about the nation and region, the local service is supplemented by global news coverage and business and finance reports. Hotel reviews, movie reviews by James Kendrick, RSS feeds, and news releases also feature.