Print Edition - 2014-12-24 | Main News
Crime can pay, but grassing pays more!
- Gold Smuggling
Dec 23, 2014-
The informants provide the leads, and they get a share of the loot. That is the model the government follows for nabbing smugglers. And the approach has been paying off.
The government has spent Rs16 million in tip-off reward to 15 people for recovering 35 kg gold worth Rs167 million. The amount was seized on several cases of gold smuggling in the past two years.
The recently amended Customs Regulations, implemented since July 13, states that 10 percent of the total worth of the seized goods is given to informants. While police officials catching the smugglers as well as the gold are awarded 20 percent of the property, they get 10 percent value of the seized yellow metal in reward if they fail to nab the carrier.
Earlier, an informant would get 15 percent of the total seized goods’ worth.
The authorities keep the informants’ details secret. According to Khim Bahadur Kunwar, director of the Department of Revenue Investigation, the information is recorded at the DRI before the gold is pursued. An informant is required to provide the number of their citizenship, passport or driving licence. Sometimes, the reward sum is paid before the gold is seized.
The reward has helped in foiling gold smuggling bids. Officials say there are a number of groups involved in the crime, who sometimes inform the police about another’s activities.
“All gold does not reach for investigation. Some cases are handled by the Customs Department,” said Kunwar.
The gold seized by the police should reach the DRI within 24 hours. The office then sends it to Nepal Rastra Bank, which melts the metal to extract pure gold. The DRI then gets the pure gold back.
According to the Department of Revenue Investigation, a total of 116 kg gold, including the recent 23 kg gold seized from Jagati, Bhaktapur—caught on 23 occasions has been registered. The DRI has no record of incentives granted before August, 2012.
Nepal Police data show that around 284 kg gold was confiscated in the past three years, including 83 kg seized in 2012/13 and 90 kg caught in 2013/14. So far this year, 134 kg gold has been captured including Tuesday’s seizure.
The first commission—Rs 560,261—was granted for one kg gold seized on August 10, 2012 to three individuals. The highest sum, Rs 7,413,257, was given to an individual who tipped the smuggling of 16kg gold on May 17 last year.
The reward amount given to informants caught public attention after a dispute arose between the Central Investigation Bureau officials and the informants over the pay as the latter claimed Rs1,770,000 as tip-off reward for 35 kgs of the precious metal.
Police claim that the supposed informants did not tip off the CIB about any such consignment. The informants say police officials included their names as informants and were trying to gobble up the reward sum themselves.
Police sources say informants may be any former or incumbent security official or gang members too. In many cases, police believe, disgruntled group members tip them.
Since, the authorities keep the informants’ details secret, some say officials also include their family members as informants.
Held with 2 kg gold
Police on Sunday night held a man in Bhaktapur along with 2kg illegal gold. Indra Kumar Shrestha of Thimi was found to have smuggled the precious metal into Nepal from Tatopani on the Nepal-China border.
In his statement to the police, Shrestha said he was delivering the gold for a Chinese man in Nepal and was promised Rs 40,000 for the delivery.Also arrested was Tshering Tamang, 39, of Sindhupalchok, who was driving the vehicle.
Reward for tip-offs
Date Gold handed in Persons Amount
August 10, 2012 1 kg 3 Rs 560, 261
July 9, 2013 2 kg 2 Rs 1,029,121
July 9, 2013 5 kg 1 Rs 2,572,958
May 17, 2013 16 kg 1 Rs 7,413,257
October 21, 2013 2 kg 3 Rs 1,069,991
January 20, 2014 0.64 kg 1 Rs 304,904
May 18, 2014 4.83 kg 3 Rs 1,617,912
May 18, 2014 4 kg 1 Rs 1,787,970
Total: Rs 16,356,374
Published: 24-12-2014 09:19