Karmapa's aide records statement with ED

An ED official told IANS that Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, the monastery accountant, was questioned over recent financial transactions by the monastery.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court March 16 granted bail to Shakti Lama along with two other Tibetans and directed them to appear at the ED office for investigation.
Monastery officials also deposited $150,000 with the ED March 17.

The amount, a monastery spokesperson had said, "represented cash that was reported to the authorities in 2003. Submitting it to the ED was only part of our process of ensuring that the Karmapa Office of administration is in full compliance."

The spokesperson in a written statement added: "We continue to cooperate fully with the ED and other investigating agencies."

It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore meant for land purchase that the police Jan 28 searched at the monastery and recovered currency of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs.5.3 million in Indian currency.

Subsequently, police arrested Shakti Lama on suspicion that he was involved in some "illegal" land deal for the monastery.

The Karmapa's office has been insisting that the money was donations from followers, including scores who come from Tibet and carry Chinese currency.

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.

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