Over 2kg smuggled gold recovered from TIA, five arrested

Published On: April 30, 2022 01:38 PM NPT By: Arun Bam

KATHMANDU, April 30: Five cleaning staff members of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) have been arrested for their involvement in the smuggling of gold. The cleaning staff were found involved in smuggling the precious yellow metal worth around Rs 20 million from TIA on Thursday. 

They were arrested as they were attempting to smuggle the yellow metal that arrived on a Himalayan Airlines flight from Dubai at TIA at around 3PM on Thursday. 

Those arrested have been identified as Bhim Kumar Mabo, 28, of Panchthar Yangwarak Rural Municipality, Suman Tamang, 27, of Nuwakot Tadi Rural Municipality, Rajesh Rai, 28, of Udaipur Limchungbung Rural Municipality, Hem Bahadur Thapa, 41, of Dolakha Gaurisankar Rural Municipality and Tara Kant Chaudhary, 34, of Spatari Surunga Municipality. 

According to police, Mabo had entered the plane for cleaning purposes and had taken 20 biscuits of gold from the plane’s toilet. He then divided the gold biscuits and handed over the half to his colleague Tamang. 

They both hid the gold in their purses and tried to bring it out of the main entrance of the TIA’s Terminal Building. At the same time, the 'screening machine' gave a suspicious signal. According to the Metropolitan Police Airport Security Office, the gold was found in their possession during a police investigation.

The gold biscuits weighed 2,332 grams (2 kg 332 grams). Police then arrested the two cleaners and three others in connection with the smuggling incident, according to the TIA’s Security Office Spokesperson SP Himalaya Kumar Shrestha.

According to police, three other arrested persons are not cleaners. While Thapa is a taxi driver, Chaudhary is a supervisor of Sungabha Suppliers and Sanitation Company. 

According to SP Shrestha, the preliminary investigation has shown that the cleaning staff used to take the gold out of the toilet of the aircraft and hand it over to Rai, Thapa and Chaudhary, who then delivered the gold to the relevant places.

Five persons have been arrested and handed over to the customs office at the TIA. The recovered gold has also been handed over to the customs office for further investigation and necessary action.

According to SP Shrestha, "Three people used cleaners at the TIA to get the gold out of the main terminal building. They are like intermediaries working for others. The investigation will show who is the main trader,” he said.

The cleaners deployed at the airport were assigned by Nepal Airlines Corporation. They had been hired by the airlines through manpower agencies.


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