Police arrest Chinese national in possession of banned drugThe contraband is valued at more than Rs5 million in the international market.
The Narcotics Control Bureau on Friday arrested a Chinese national, who was allegedly found to be in possession of 4.2kg of ephedrine.
The arrested man has been identified as Zhang Chao, 31, holding a Chinese passport numbered E 73905837. Acting on a tip-off, the bureau had increased its vigilance over the last few days and it culminated in the arrest of Zhang from the Thamel area of Kathmandu on December 6.
According to Superintendent of Police Birendra Kumar Bashyal at the Narcotics Control Bureau of Nepal Police, Zhang was planning to export the drugs to New Zealand through the cargo office located at Kathmandu Metropolitan City-16. “The illegal pharmaceutical was hidden in 10 boxes.”
Preliminary investigation revealed that Zhang had brought ephedrine from China via cargo. Most foreigners use Nepal as a transit point to smuggle the drugs to other countries, said Bashyal.
“Zhang has been kept in the bureau and further investigation into the case is underway. If convicted, he might have to serve a jail term ranging from 10 to 15 years,” said an official at the bureau.
“These types of drugs are not used in Nepal. However, they are sold for millions in the markets abroad. In this case, that chemical would have cost around Rs2oo,000 in Nepal, while the same substance would cost more than Rs5 million, if it had been exported successfully,” Bashyal added.
The country has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of foreigners and locals arrested for possessing illegal pharmaceuticals.
The NCB data shows 3,607 smugglers, including 159 foreigners, were arrested in connection with drugs and smuggling in the fiscal year 2016-17. In the fiscal year 2017-18, 4,754 persons, including 149 foreigners, were arrested. In 2018-19, police arrested 5,558 persons, including 201 foreign nationals.