Altab Ansari, alleged mastermind of 15 kg precious metal smuggling scam, arrested from BaraTwo Indian nationals are said to be the masterminds behind the smuggling racket while Ansari assisted them in Nepal.
Police have arrested Altaf Hussein Ansari, an alleged mastermind of a recent gold scam who was on the run after the incident, from Bara district on Thursday.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Manjit Kunwar of District Police Office Parsa, said they had arrested Ansari after getting a tip-off.
A team of the District Police Office, Parsa arrested Ansari from Nijgadh this morning, said Kunwar. He was sent to Kathmandu for further investigation.
“After arresting him, we informed the Metropolitan Police Range and the Metropolitan Crime Division, which are investigating the case,” said Kunwar.
According to Senior Superintendent Shyam Lal Gyawali, chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, two Indian nationals Nilesh Shakiya and Sanjay Patel were the masterminds behind this fake gold smuggling racket while Ansari is said to be the main dealer whose job was to assist them in Nepal.
Shakiya was arrested a day after the incident from Nawalparasi while Ansari and Patel were on the run. “But on Thursday we arrested Ansari, so now only Patel is on the run. We are searching for him too,” said Gyawali.
They, after smuggling the gold-plated silver, were planning to smuggle it to India, including in Gujarat, where they would try to swindle people claiming the metal to be genuine gold, said Gyawali.
According to a police source, Ansari was supposed to take the gold plated silver from Kathmandu to Birgunj while Sakhiya would smuggle it to Gujarat.
However, on July 28, police claimed to have seized 15 kg gold. They later backtracked and said that only 500 grams of the recovered metal was gold and the rest were gold-plated silver bars, from the smugglers.
Initially police had faced a controversy after the smugglers were said to escape after throwing the bag containing the metal. However, the Metropolitan Police Office Ranipokhari formed a committee soon after to investigate the matter which found a series of security lapses, double-dealings and corruption intent on the part of law enforcement officers.
The committee found that Constable Bahadur Singh Kadayat and Constable Prasanna Shrestha lied to their boss DSP Ranjan Kumar Dahal about the location and didn't give full information about the smuggling while it was also revealed that they let the smugglers go after seizing the bag from them at an overhead bridge in Sundhara.
The Scorpio (Ba 6 Cha 5519) used by Ansari and others was, however, recovered by police in Nakhipot, Lalitpur on July 30.
After Altaf Hussain Ansari was arrested, a total of eight accused—Dewan Patel, Bijay Patel, Nilesh Shakhiya, Manish Malik, Umesh Shrestha, Bahadur Singh Kadayat and Prasanna Shrestha—are in police custody, said Gyawali.
“We are yet to interrogate Ansari, as he is also suspected of being involved in other criminal activities and is also alleged to have links with international criminals,” Gyawali told the post.
Ansari, who hails from Bara, was sentenced to jail by the Lalitpur District Court on June 9, 2010 for his involvement in counterfeit Indian currency transactions in Nepal.
District Court, Lalitpur then had slapped Ansari with a three-year-jail term along with a fine of Rs 26.1 million after being convicted in the fake banknote transaction.