Chinese Gang Crimes: From gold smuggling to match-fixing

Published On: September 1, 2023 07:00 PM NPT By: Tapendra Karki

KATHMANDU, Sept 1: It has been found that Chinese criminal gangs are involved in various criminal activities in Nepal, ranging from gold smuggling to match-fixing, call bypass, human trafficking, ATM vandalism, online fraud, and illegal foreign currency trading.

Recently, the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) confirmed that a Chinese gang was also involved in the smuggling of 60 kg of gold on July 19 and that the gang had transported the gold to India via Nepal. “There has been a noticeable increase in the criminal activities of Chinese nationals recently," said Nepal Police spokesperson Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Kuber Kadayat. According to him, Chinese tourists come to Nepal on a visa. After arriving here, some Chinese with a criminal attitude stay here often under the guise of working in the IT sector. After that, they engage in business like gold smuggling, call bypass, match-fixing etc.

According to the latest police data, 42 Chinese individuals were arrested in Nepal during the fiscal year (FY) 2022/23. Similarly, 13 Chinese were arrested in 2021/22 and 16 in 2020/21. All of them were arrested on charges of call bypass, ATM vandalism, match-fixing, illegal trading of foreign currency and gold smuggling.

On December 23, 2019, Nepal Police arrested 122 Chinese nationals at once and sent them back to their country. The Chinese were arrested by the police for involvement in cyber crime and were expelled under the Immigration Act. At that time, it was confirmed that some Chinese in Nepal were operating a crime business by renting large apartments.

It has been found that seven of those arrested are involved in Chinese gold smuggling and they have also acquired Nepali citizenship by violating the laws of Nepal. It has been revealed that the seven Chinese who were arrested in the case of smuggling 60 kg of gold that escaped the customs checkpoint of Tribhuvan International Airport also possessed Nepalis citizenship.

During the CIB’s investigation, it was revealed that these Chinese nationals held Nepali citizenship certificates issued by the District Administration Office in Kavre. As a result, the government formed an inquiry committee led by Krishna Bahadur Katwal, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Chinese citizen Lin Jiquan, who was involved in the 60 kg of smuggled gold seized outside TIA, was arrested on July 20 by the DRI at Tribhuvan International Airport. Then, during the investigation, Thopten Tshering of Tibetan origin, who was running Hotel Vienna in Thamel, was arrested. He has Nepali and Belgian citizenship certificates. Tien Mee, Wing Tong, Ding Se Pa, Li Nengkai have also been arrested in this case. It has been revealed that Gau Hui, Zhong Sek Chin and Tang Ping, who were arrested on August 14, also possessed Nepali citizenship certificates.

On December 25, 2022 gold brought by Chinese nationals concealed inside e-cigarettes (Vapes) was seized by the Tribhuvan International Airport Customs Office. The customs office seized 730 pieces of vapes in 73 packets, unaware that they contained gold. However, during the investigation, it was revealed that there was about nine kilos of gold in it and it was brought by Chinese citizens Li Hansong and Daojin Wang. Former Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and his son Rahul Mahara have been suspected to be involved in the case. Rahul was arrested by the CIB on Wednesday and brought under investigation.

Police seized 88 kg of smuggled gold brought to Kathmandu through the Kerung Pass on September 4, 2017 from Chhetrapati. Chinese citizens were involved in it too. The investigation revealed that the Chinese nationals brought the gold with the investment of Kathmandu gold traders. In that case, the court sentenced Chinese nationals Yang Weiming and Pan Weiming to five years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 437 million each. The Kathmandu District Court cleared the charge of some Nepali businessmen involved in that case. Ganedatta Badu of Karyavinayak Gold and Silver Shop at Ranjana Trade Centre, Satyanarayan Agarwal of Ravi Shyam Traders at Naradevi, Shubha Ratna Shakya of Shakya Gold and Silver Shop at Bangemuda, Ullas Dinkar Salukhe of Siddhanath Gold and Silver Melting and Testing at Wotu and Nanda Kumar Magar of Pashupati Gold and Silver Mine Shop at Wotu were given clean chits. Magar is also involved in the smuggling of around 9 kg of gold.

Similarly, Agarwal was among the four people who were arrested with 9.5 kg of illegal gold from Kathmandu on January 7, 2016. At that time, he had traveled to China to buy illegal gold with Rs 1.1 million. According to sources, Agrawal met with Yang Weiming and Pan Weiming in China.

Dibesh Lohani, a retired AIG who seized 88 kg of smuggled gold at the time, said that some Chinese nationals were bringing gold to Nepal with the help of Nepali traders. Some Chinese have smuggled gold in collaboration with some businessmen of Nepal and avoided getting caught. Even when they are arrested, they do not disclose the network of smuggling," Lohani recounted his old experience. According to him, Chinese criminal gangs are active in multiple crimes.


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