National

Home minister says the biggest gold smuggling racket busted

  • Claim comes amid no headway in 33kg gold smuggling case
- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Feb 21, 2019-

Addressing the Upper House on Wednesday, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has claimed that the government has destroyed the biggest gold smuggling racket in the country and is stepping up efforts to destroy other smuggling rackets as well.

Minister Thapa’s claim has come at a time when there has been no development in the 33kg gold smuggling case and 18kg gold has recently been seized by police from Kanchanpur on February 14.

“We have destroyed the biggest gold racket in the country which had been smuggling gold from Thailand and Dubai,” said Thapa, adding other rackets which have been using different routes to smuggle gold will also be destroyed soon.

The so-called biggest gold racket led by mastermind Chudamani Upreti aka Gore has smuggled more than 4 tonnes of gold in the last four years. Gore, along with some major investors, police officials and staff at the Tribhuvan International Airport, who have been facilitating the smuggling, have already been arrested. Other suspects are still on the run.

Meanwhile, many of the accused in the 33kg gold smuggling case have either been released on bail or general date by the Biratnagar High Court. However, no final hearing has been made against the accused.

In the Upper House, Thapa was also questioned about the government’s lack of action against controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan, Nirmala Pant’s rape and murder, the murder of former ambassador to France Keshav Raj Jha, the murder of Ajit Mijar and government’s preventive measures for disaster management.

“There have been many charges of abuse against Bomjan by the nuns who managed to escape from the ashrams. But no action has been taken against him,” said Komal Oli, Nepal Communist Party lawmaker.

Thapa assured that the government was serious about the Bomjan case and investigation was ongoing. “The investigation into the Jha murder case is also continuing. Evidence related to that case has been sent to the National Forensic Science Laboratory. We will soon have a concluding report,” he said.

Similarly, Thapa also made it clear that the investigations into unsolved cases of rape and murder, including that of Nirmala Pant, were also being conducted in full swing.

“Action has been taken against officers involved in tampering with evidence from the crime scene of the Nirmala’s case. As the investigation is ongoing, the officers who have been suspended and sacked might face more stringent action,” said Thapa.

Thapa also revealed that the government has ended syndicates in all sectors and is bringing effective provision in the new law for ending syndicate in the transport sector.

Responding to a query over the government’s preventive measures for disaster management, Thapa said authorities concerned are “well-prepared to tackle any untoward incidents”.

Published: 21-02-2019 07:46

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