High-level probe commission drags Former Speaker Mahara, two former IGPs in 61 kg of gold scam

Published On: March 18, 2024 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 18: The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has received the report of the High-Level Probe Commission on Gold Smuggling. The commission, chaired by former high court judge Dilli Raj Acharya, submitted its findings to the CIB on Sunday.

CIB chief, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Shyam Lal Gyawali, said that he received the report at the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday. AIG Gyawali said, “Following a thorough examination, we will initiate the necessary action.”

Gyawali said that it is yet to be decided who will be prosecuted and who will be arrested. "As of now, apart from the details that surfaced in the media, we haven't received any official notifications. With the report now in our possession, we will conduct a thorough review and proceed accordingly," he said.

Earlier, the High-Level Probe Commission submitted the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 14 with some important recommendations based on the statements of those involved in gold smuggling, on-site investigation, and technical analysis.

The government formed the three-member commission in October 2023 under the leadership of former high court judge Dilli Raj Acharya. The commission has claimed to have prepared the report after conducting a detailed study on the 61 kg gold case and the smuggling of gold concealed in vape.

On February 12, 2023, the Department of Customs forwarded a suspicious item for investigation to the CIB. The item in question was found to contain gold concealed in 730 electric cigarettes in 73 packs and placed inside two suitcases. 

The probe commission has recommended the authorities to take action against former Speaker and Maoist Center Vice-chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara in connection to the gold smuggling case. Likewise, the commission has asked to keep in surveillance two former inspectors general of police including Dhiraj Pratap Singh and Sarbendra Khanal for their alleged alliance with the gold smugglers. The commission has identified the duo to have been in regular contract with a number of gold smugglers.  

According to an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the commission has also recommended keeping a close eye on Superintendent of Police Sanjay Singh Thapa and Deputy Superintendent of Police Rugam Bahadur Kunwar. These two senior police officers, who were associated with the CIB have been accused of showing high levels of negligence during investigations carried out by the bureau.

Take action against guilty while implementing the probe commission report: Home Minister Lamichhane

KATHMANDU, March 17: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane on Sunday instructed the authorities to immediately implement the report of the Commission of Inquiry formed to investigate gold smuggling in the country.

Home Minister Lamichhane gave this instruction to Home Secretary Ek Narayan Aryal, Inspector General of Police Basan Bahadur Kunwar and head of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police Shyam Gyawali on Sunday. Based on the investigation report by the High-Level Probe Commission on Gold Smuggling, Minister Lamicchane has come up with the action.  

In a discussion held in the ministry earlier on Sunday, Minister Lamichhane instructed the high-level officials to take action against the civil servants and police personnel implicated by the report, including former Speaker and Maoist Center Vice-chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

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