Capital

Gore aide held in Dubai

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Oct 16, 2018-

Police transferred Benu Shrestha, an aide of Chudamani Upreti aka Gore—the kingpin in the 33kg gold smuggling case— Biratnagar on Monday.

The 32-year-old Shrestha, 32, was rep33atriated to Nepal from United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.

Acting on a red corner notice issued by Interpol against him and three others—Ramesh Upreti, Mohan Kumar Agrawal and Harisharan Khadka—in connection with the case.

The probe team, formed under the then joint-secretary at the Home Ministry Ishwor Poudel to investigate the 33kg gold smuggling case, had mentioned Shrestha as one of the major investors behind the smuggling of gold to Nepal through the Tribhuvan International Airport.

“Shrestha, who had been living in the UAE, started sending gold to Nepal with Gore. He was a business partner of Gore from the very beginning,” said SSP Basanta Lama, chief of Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu and a member of the probe committee.

Shrestha, who was taken to Biratnagar by a flight on Monday, will be presented at the Morang District Court where a charge-sheet has been filed against him. “Shrestha will remain in our custody as the court will be closed until October 25 for Dashain. We will presented him at the court as soon as it reopens,” said DSP Nishan Thapa of the Morang District Police, who is also the investigating officer of the case.

Shrestha used to operate a jewellery shop in the Capital’s New Road through which he came in contact with Gore and started investing in the business. The two then persuaded Gore’s drive Tek Raj Malla Thakuri into the business.

Later, Shrestha sold the shop and went to the UAE from where he continued to ship gold illegally. Shrestha was arrested along with Gore’s brother Ramesh Upreti, but the Dubai Police has handed only Shrestha to Nepal Police.

The other accused in the case SSP Dibesh Lohani, DSP Prajit KC and SP Bikash Raj Khanal were released by the District Court of Morang on September 14, September 16 and September 18 respectively.

The 752-page report submitted by the probe team mentions the racketeers had smuggled 3999.6kg gold through the TIA in the last four years.

Published: 16-10-2018 07:45

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