- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2005

INDIA

16 arrested in fraud in U.S. money transfer

BOMBAY — Indian police have arrested 16 persons in an investigation into the fraudulent transfer of more than $400,000 from Citibank customer accounts in the United States to bogus accounts in India, officials said.

Investigators said employees of a business process outsourcing company persuaded Citibank customers to disclose information that would make their accounts accessible.

Police said 16 persons have been arrested so far, and investigators looking for $350,000 in funds missing from four customers in the United States have discovered a separate $76,000 transferred illegally. The money was transferred to accounts opened by the accused in Pune.

The incident comes as several foreign companies are stepping up the outsourcing of back-office functions to Indian companies who offer them tremendous cost savings by employing low-cost staff.

SRI LANKA

5 Tamil rebels killed in factional feud

COLOMBO — At least five renegade Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a fresh bout of violence in Sri Lanka’s restive northeast yesterday, the military said, as an escalating factional feud piles pressure on a three-year truce.

The military said a group of cadres loyal to a breakaway rebel commander called Karuna were ambushed at a jungle hide-out in a government-controlled area near the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, 95 miles northeast of Colombo.

It was the latest in a spate of such attacks, and comes almost a year to the day since Karuna split with the Tigers, accusing the group’s northern leadership of discriminating against the rebels’ eastern wing.

NEPAL

Private schools close after rebel threat

KATMANDU — Some private schools in Nepal closed yesterday after a Maoist student union demanded they shut down indefinitely or risk attack.

The latest threat comes after an 11-day nationwide strike sponsored by the Maoists to protest against King Gyanendra’s move to fire the government and seize power. The strike, which ended Monday, crippled businesses and transport.

The All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (Revolutionary) ordered private schools in the Himalayan kingdom to close. There are about 1.5 million students in 8,500 private schools.

Some schools in Katmandu opened yesterday after vacations while others will open next week. State-run schools were open as usual.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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