Narcotics Control Bureau arrests four foreigners for cocaine smugglingTwo Belarusians and two Bolivians arrested with 6kg of cocaine worth at least Rs150 million.
The Narcotics Control Bureau of Nepal Police arrested two Belarus nationals with cocaine worth at least Rs150 million from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Saturday.
The accused were attempting to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine through a Cathay Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong, according to an official at the bureau.
The arrested men were identified as Pavel Vasilyeu, 21, holding passport number AB2712060 and Alina Aldoshyna, holding passport number KH2464426.
“Upon interrogation, they revealed two other names, Roberto Carlos Merubia Mariace and Raul Zambrana Ordonez, both Bolivian nationals, who were allegedly supplying them with the drugs. The police on the same day detained them from Lost Garden Hotel located at Lazimpat,” said the bureau official.
According to their passports, Mariace and Ordonez came from Brazil on December 19 with the cocaine and they passed it on to Vasilyeu and Aldoshyna, who too had arrived in Kathmandu on December 19 to smuggle the drugs to Hong Kong.
“The drugs were hidden in a jacket which was kept in their luggage,” Superintendent of Police Birendra Kumar Bashyal, a spokesperson for the bureau, told the Post.
The arrested persons will be charged under the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act 1976. If convicted, they could face life imprisonment.
Barely a week ago, on Tuesday, a Bolivian national was arrested from the Tribhuvan International Airport with three kilograms of cocaine.
The arrested person was identified as Herrera Arteaga Olga, 41. Olga is currently in police custody and the case is under investigation. “We have already arrested five foreigners with cocaine within this week. We suspect that smugglers are using Nepal as a transit point to move the drugs to European countries,” said Bashyal.
“The confiscated drugs are destroyed within 15 days of showing it to the court,” said Deputy Inspector General, Dinesh Amatya, chief at the Bureau. “The Tribhuvan International Airport is more often used as a transit point as there is little police security there. There are only customs officers and immigration officers in the arrival area, and smugglers are using this fact to their advantage.”
The bureau’s data of the last three years show that drug smuggling cases and arrests are on the rise in the country.
In the fiscal year 2016/17, the police arrested 3,607 persons on drug smuggling charges—of them, 159 were foreigners. In the fiscal year 2017/18, it arrested 4,754 persons, including 149 foreigners. In 2018/19, 5,558 persons were arrested, including 201 foreign nationals.