Charge sheet filed against 63 suspects

  • 33kg gold smuggling case
- BINOD BHANDARI, BIRATNAGAR

May 3, 2018-

The District Attorney’s Office filed a charge sheet at the Morang District Court on Wednesday against 63 suspects in the 33 kg gold smuggling case and the subsequent murder of an alleged smuggler.

Based on the report prepared by a high-level committee formed to probe into Sanam Shakya’s murder and gold smuggling, the District Attorney’s Office (DAO) filed the charge sheet against the accused, recommending Rs 17 billion and 18 million in fines.

The probe panel headed by Joint-secretary Ishwor Poudel concluded that Chudamani Upreti aka Gore, the alleged mastermind behind the gold smuggling, and his accomplices smuggled 3,999.6kg of gold since July 2015.

The organised crime, murder, abduction and hold hostage charges were filed against 63 suspects involved in the crime. Nabaraj Dulal, the registrar at the court, informed reporters that different charges were filed against each accused.

SSP Dibesh Lohani suspects in the 33 kg gold smuggling case are produced before the Morang District Court in Biratnagar on Wednesday. Post Photo: bedraj paudel

Twenty-nine suspects, including former DIG Govinda Niraula, SSP Dibesh Lohani, SP Bikashraj Khanal, DSPs Prajit KC and Sanjaya Raut, Sub-Inspector Balkrishna Sanjel and constable Bishnu Khadka were produced before the court on Wednesday. Thirty-four others are still on the run.  

The DAO filed a 153-page charge sheet against the suspected smugglers and their accomplices. Registrar Dulal said the charge sheet would be made public on Thursday after a detailed study. Recording of statements of the suspects presented in the court will start on Thursday, he added.

The high-level committee had arrested SSP Lohani after he came in contact with the  District Police Office, Morang on Tuesday. They detained   Lohani and presented him at the court on Wednesday.

SSP Lohani had led the investigation into the murder of Shakya, an alleged runner of the smuggled gold, and its the disappearance, when he was the chief of Metropolitan Police Crime Division.

Lohani had sent DSP KC and Sub-Inspector Sanjel to Morang to investigate the Shakya murder case and apprehend Upreti. Lohani claimed that he had taken verbal permission from AIG Bam Bahadur Bhandari to investigate the case and that he had reported regularly to Nepal Police headquarters about the incident.

The 33 kg gold smuggled through the Tribhuvan International Airport had mysteriously disappeared from Kathmandu before reaching its intended destination. The smuggling case drew much public attention following the murder of Shakya, a  native of Urlabari, Morang.

The District Police Office, Morang, completed its investigation into the killing of Shakya and submitted its report to the DAO on Sunday. Shakya, according to police, was murdered in Urlabari on March 2. Police recovered his body from the boot of the vehicle (Ba 12 Cha 5963) during a routine security check in Biratnagar the following day. Police arrested driver Tekraj Thakuri, and passengers Narendra Karki

and Mohan Kafle. Morgan Police has stated that electric shock was the cause of Shakya’s death.

Published: 03-05-2018 07:11

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