TIA 33-kg gold smuggling: Court extends remand of 3 cops including SP Khanal

- Binod Bhandari, Biratnagar

Apr 26, 2018-

The District Court Morang on Thursday extended the judicial remand of SP Bikas Raj Khanal, DSP Sanjaya Bahadur Raut and sub Inspector Bal Krishna Sanjel, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in 33-kg gold smuggling through Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu.  The judicial remand of the police personnel has been extended by six days.

Investigators have suspected the police officers’ connection in the murder of Sanam Shakya, who was used as mule in the smuggling of 33-kg gold.

Chief of Makwanpur District Police, SP Khanal was detained on Wednesday after suspecting his involvement in the gold smuggling case. An investigation team under Joint Secretary at Home Ministry Ishwor Raj Poudel had sent SP Khanal, DSP Raut and sub inspector Sanjel to Morang District Police Office for further investigation.

The court on Thursday registered the attendance of the police officers and extended their remand. Raut, who suddenly went out of contact during interrogation on Tuesday, came in contact with the investigation committee on Wednesday and marked his attendance at the court.

The probe committee has suspected that SP Khanal and Sub Inspector Sanjel assisted the main accused in the smuggling case, Chudamani Uprety. Khanal had allegedly helped in the smuggling while he was deputed at TIA two years ago, while Sanjel had allegedly helped in protecting Uprety in the murder of Sanam Shaky.

The 33 kg gold had gone missing from Kathmandu after it was smuggled through Tribhuvan International Airport. The smuggling incident drew attention following the murder of Sanam Shakya of Urlabari, Morang.

According to sources, distrust amongst the group involved in the smuggling of the precious metal led to the murder of Shakya, who was allegedly brutally thrashed and electrocuted to death. A video of the murder was also taken where Shakya, during the beating, had called out the name of former DIG Niraula.

Earlier, the Metropolitan Police Crime Division had begun investigation into the matter. However, the Home Ministry suspected laxity in the police probe and directed the Police Headquarters to recall three people including MPCD SSP Dibesh Lohani, DSP Prajit KC to the headquarters.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on January 5, 2017 had confiscated 33kg gold from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) that had passed undetected through the customs.


Published: 26-04-2018 20:59

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