Rasuwagadhi becoming a ‘new transit for gold smuggling’Amid growing trade, the Rasuwagadhi border point is developing a new transit for gold smuggling as police on Thursday seized 7 kilos of the yellow metal from a Hilux pickup truck that entered the Capital through Kerung, China.
Amid growing trade, the Rasuwagadhi border point is developing a new transit for gold smuggling as police on Thursday seized 7 kilos of the yellow metal from a Hilux pickup truck that entered the Capital through Kerung, China.
This is the second incident in December alone where police have seized a large quantity of gold smuggled at the Rasuwadgadhi border point.
Acting on a tip-off, the Metropolitan Crime Division of Nepal Police arrested driver Kunsang Lama with the gold worth Rs31.72 million. “Search for the real owner of gold is on,” said SSP Sarbendra Khanal, chief of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MCPD).
With the border crossing at Tatopani closed after the devastating earthquakes in 2015 and a new provision on gold imports for individuals coming into effect in July this year, the Rasuwagadi point has been increasingly used by smugglers for illegal import of gold.
“We’ve found that new routes are being used for gold smuggling,” said SSP Khanal, referring to the latest incidents. The police record shows Rasuwagadhi in the most of the gold seizure took place this year, gold has come from Rasuwagadhi point.
Police had arrested Biren Lama, 28, with 5kg gold worth Rs22.36 million on December 21 from Timure, Rasuwa. Lama had hidden the gold biscuits inside the air filter of his motorcycle. During interrogation, Lama confessed to smuggling the gold through the Rasuwagadi customs.
On June 12, police had arrested another person in possession of 6kg of undeclared gold worth Rs28.85 million from Rasuwagadhi. Besides, police had also seized more than 1kg smuggled gold from Rasuwa in March.
Before its closure last year, most of the gold used to enter Nepal through the Tatopani border point via Lhasa. The route used to be Hong Kong-Lhasha-Tatopani, according to police officials.
With the growing trend of traders making inbound passengers carriers of the precious metals, the government from start of this fiscal year has prohibited individuals from importing gold and silver bars. Earlier, a person visiting abroad can import gold bar or ornaments weighing up to 50gm and silver bars weighing up to 500gm by paying customs duty.
Now, individuals are only allowed to bring gold ornaments weighing up to 50gm and silver ornaments up to 500gm. The new provision is expected to discourage traders using individuals-especially those coming from Dubai and Hong Kong-as gold carriers.