Despite occasional seizures, no let-up in gold smugglingMan carrying 14 kg of the precious metal was held from Kathmandu airport on Thursday night. Government announces six-member investigation panel.
Customs officials have arrested a man from the Tribhuvan International Airport with around 14 kg of gold.
Chandra Ghale of Gorkha was held at the airport on Thursday night soon after he landed in Kathmandu on a flydubai flight.
Director General of the Department of Customs Sobhakant Paudel said they started an investigation into his background and the real owner of the gold soon after the arrest.
Ghale was found to have attached the gold to his chest and also concealed the metal in his shoes.
Paudel said they were preparing to weigh and test the metal recovered from the man to determine its quality.
According to him, they started monitoring Ghale’s call details and people in contact with him.
Officials had stepped up surveillance at the airport after being tipped off that Ghale will land on Wednesday. But he arrived on Thursday night.
Ghale was among the passengers disembarking at the last and was arrested soon after he got off the aircraft. He has been taken into police custody.
Meanwhile, the government on Friday formed a six-member probe to investigate the case. The committee is led by Maniram Paudel, chief of the airport customs office.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Prakash Subedi, customs officers Dillu Prasad Sharma, Prakash Niraula and Lokraj Dhungana and section officer Manju Thapa are members of the committee, according to Tokraj Pandey, chief customs administrator at the airport.
In the meantime, police arrested three other people from Nagdhunga as they were entering Kathmandu carrying 2 kg gold on Friday. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Rabindra Regmi of the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office, the three people travelling from Rasuwa to Kathmandu had concealed the gold inside the gearbox of a jeep.
The incidents come in a series of gold smuggling cases over recent days and months.
In October, the government formed a high-level commission to conduct a detailed investigation into the incidents of gold smuggling in the country.
The government had agreed to form the commission led by former High Court chief judge Dilli Raj Acharya after the main opposition CPN-UML obstructed parliamentary proceedings for weeks saying that a serious investigation was essential to crack down on organised crime in gold smuggling in Nepal.