Gangster Basnet ran an extortion racket from prison using home minister’s brotherPolice shoot at and capture another suspect linked with the racket.
Police have linked the extortion racket involving the brother of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa with gangster Samir Man Basnet, who has been in jail since December 2017 on a murder charge.
The preliminary investigation of the Nepal Police Central Investigation Bureau suggests that Basnet may have been spearheading the racket from behind bars.
Investigators have found that Basnet and Thapa’s brother, Naresh, were in constant touch with each other despite the former being in jail. The two of them frequently
exchanged messages, thus eliciting the police suspicion that Naresh and the others were part of the racket led by Basnet.
“He [Basnet] used to make plans from prison and assist his group,” Deputy Inspector General Niraj Shahi of the bureau told the Post.
The home minister’s brother and eight others were arrested Sunday for allegedly extorting builders and contractors. Naresh was taken to Chirayu Hospital after he recorded his statement in Kathmandu District Court on Thursday. DIG Shahi did not specify the reason why Naresh was admitted to the hospital. The other accused are in police custody. “They all used to work with Basnet, who used to send his command from prison,” Shahi said.
Basnet, 34, is currently in Central Jail in Kathmandu on suspicion of masterminding the murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan, the chairman of Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal on October 9, 2017.
Following his arrest, Basnet was held at Nakhu Jail in Lalitpur. But he was transferred to Mustang in September 2018 for allegedly running criminal activities from the prison.
Basnet was transferred to the Central Jail in Kathmandu recently after his wife filed a court case, alleging that police were planning to kill him in a ‘fake encounter’, said Superintendent of Police Dipak Regmi, spokesperson for the bureau.
Meanwhile, police shot at and captured Sajan Gurung, who was on the police wanted list for running an extortion racket, from Goldhunga on Friday afternoon. Gurung, who sustained gunshot wound in his leg in the incident, was taken to National Trauma Center police said.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa of Metropolitan Crime Division, Teku, Gurung was part of the same extortion racket run by Basnet.