The Indian truck laden with 12,200 kg of black pepper detained on the no man’s land near Birgunj Customs Office. Photo: Ritesh Tripathi/Republica
BIRGUNJ, June 6: Police here have seized a truckload (12,200 kg) of black pepper which was being smuggled to India from the no man's land near Birgunj on Monday evening. By dodging the tight security and the Birgunj Customs Office, the truck had reached the no man's land.
The pepper bought in US dollars was illegally being taken to India for selling it in Indian currency, according to police.Rajan Limbu, sub-inspector at the District Police Office (DPO), Parsa, informed that a total of 12,200 kg of black pepper was confiscated from the border. "We started following the truck as soon as we received a tip-off and fortunately became successful in catching it," said Limbu.The pepper truck bearing license plate UP 78 BT 3804 was found crossing over to India at around 7 pm on Monday. Police immediately detained the truck and its driver, who has been identified as Dharmendra Kumar. As per DPO, preparations are underway to send the truck and its driver to Pathlaiya-based office of the Department of Revenue Investigations (DRI) for investigation.
Last year, Police had confiscated around 18,000 kg of smuggled pepper from various parts of the district. Back then, police had seized a truck, a tractor, motorcycle and eight individuals for their involvement in the crime.
The import of black peeper is banned in India. Though the price of pepper is decreasing in the international market, its price is rising in India. Taking advantage of the price difference, smugglers have been illegally exporting pepper to India through Nepal. According to locals, smugglers earn a profit around Rs 300 per kilo.