Police arrest 25 and seize over Rs 26 million in illegal gambling bustActing on a tip-off, police raided a house in Maharajgunj for operating an illegal gambling den.
Police raided a private house in Maharajgunj on Saturday evening and arrested 25 people for illegal gambling, confiscating over Rs 26 million in cash and a cheque for Rs 300,000.
“We conducted the raid based on a tip-off. There were 25 people who were playing cards and kauda,” said Deputy Superintendent Umesh Lamsal of the Maharajgunj Metropolitan Police Circle. Around 16 police officials were involved in the raid.
Those arrested have been identified as Bikram Gautam, Ram Krishna KC, Indra Shrestha, Ranjan Rajbanshi, Shyam Prasad Parajuli, Ashok Shrestha, Sitaram Khadka, Roshan Tamang, Ram Tamang, Krishna Bhandari, Suman Agrawal, Suman Gurung, Sovit Silwal, Sohal Karki, Pawan Agrawal, Pabitra Kumar Karki, Balaram Sapkota, Dhawa Lama, Mukti Lama, Sambhu Budathoki, Prem Thapa Magar, Buddha Lama, Nawang Lama, and Pradeep Bogati.
Police believe that the house was operating an organised private gambling service and that it was not just a friendly card game, like the ones many Nepalis usually indulge in during Dashain and Tihar.
“This is the biggest raid in recent days, with the largest amount of money seized,” said Senior Superintendent Uttam Raj Subedi, chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range. “During festivals, some people provide gambling services in their houses, which is illegal. We have been keeping tabs on such illegal activities.”
According to the Gambling Act 1963, those arrested for a first-time gambling offence are liable for a fine not exceeding Rs 200. Repeat offenders are liable for a jail sentence ranging from one month to a year.
According to data maintained by the Rani Pokhari Metropolitan Police Office, more than Rs 19 million was seized from different gambling dens in the Valley in the last fiscal year. Police in the three months of this fiscal year have confiscated over Rs 5 million from gamblers, in addition to the Rs 26 million seized on Saturday.
“The money seized goes to the government's funds,” Subedi told to the Post.
According to data from the past three fiscal years, the number of people arrested for gambling offences has risen steadily. In the fiscal year 2018/19, police detained 2,869 people, the highest number of arrests in the past three years, from across the country. Nearly 40 percent (1,161) of the arrest was made in Kathmandu Valley. In the fiscal year 2016/17, at total 1,504 were arrested for gambling. The number rose to 2,824 in the fiscal year 2017/18.
Those arrested on Saturday evening are being held at the Maharajgunj Police Circle.
“Further investigation is underway,” said Subedi.