The Kathmandu Post in a detailed and lengthy investigative report, and taking the nation by a storm has published a bold story, and revealed a sketchy past of the so called ‘Nepal loving watchmaker’.
The Post first reveals that Soarway Institute for Development who approached the Nepal Tourism Board and won a $200,000 grant to bring in second-hand fire trucks from Nepal is non-existent. The Post further followed up on the promises made by Cobold (Hollywood celebrities appearances, extensive US media coverage, etc) and said they were false promises.
Mr. Cobold, who refused to address the Post’s queries maintains the firetrucks are on its way.
However, more horrifying than the shady company and his firetruck deal is his exploitative nature:
Michael Kobold, a German national is famous for his watches and has a store in Babar Mahal Revisited area. His watches sold because he sold an emotional attachment to Nepal – he spoke of two Sherpas Ang Namgel amd Lakpa Thundu and their bravery during an Everest Expedition in 2010. He said he founded the watch company with the duo to take them out of their difficulties.
He took the two to U.S. and got them trained in the watch-making craft (apparently unpaid), and in 2012 formed Kobold Watch Pvt Ltd. His exploitative nature continued as he spent lavish amounts maintaining his lifestyle, while the Sherpas got nothing. The partnership broke, and the two Sherpas went back to the mountains – sadly Thundu died in 2016 during an expedition in Ama Dablam.
Thus, Kathmandu Post has revealed the exploitation and much more shady dealings by the watchmaker.
The full story can be reached here.