Smuggling continues unabated as authorities struggle to arrest smugglers

Published On: October 5, 2023 03:00 PM NPT By: Upendra Yadav

BARA, Oct 5: As the festive season in Nepal, including Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath, approaches, the flow of smuggled goods from India has surged, with authorities struggling to arrest the smugglers responsible.

The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI), in collaboration with the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police, has been consistently making arrests related to the illegal import of various goods such as foodstuffs and clothing through various border crossings and means of transportation.

In a recent incident on October 2, the District Police Office, Parsa, seized a significant quantity of peas that had been imported from India without proper customs clearance. The peas were discovered stored at Jaya Ma Galla store in Birgunj, operated by Ajay Shah.

Superintendent of Police Komal Shah reported the seizure of 93 sacks containing a total of 2,325 kg of peas. These seized goods were subsequently handed over to the Birgunj Customs Office for further investigation and legal action.

Superintendent of Police Shah emphasized that smuggled goods entering Parsa, evading customs procedures, are consistently being intercepted and handed over to relevant agencies for further action.

Similarly, on September 28, the District Police Office, Bara, intercepted four cargo trucks en route to Hetauda from Birgunj. These trucks were found to be carrying goods that had evaded customs duties.

Superintendent of Police at the District Police Office, Bara, Suresh Kafle, confirmed that all four trucks were located and subsequently delivered to the Office of Revenue Investigation in Pathalaiya for further scrutiny. SP Kafle estimated the value of the seized goods to be worth millions of rupees.

Further investigations revealed that the trucks transporting the goods did not possess the necessary customs documentation. Consequently, three trucks, bearing the license plate numbers Na 6 Kha 89, Na 3 Kha 7311, and Na 3 Kha 4530, were impounded by the Revenue Investigation Office, Pathlaiya. These trucks contained goods with an estimated value exceeding Rs 7.1 million, and they were later transported to Kathmandu by the DRI for legal proceedings.

The Armed Police Force, which plays a crucial role in curbing smuggling and border-related crimes, has intensified its efforts to combat the influx of customs-evading goods at various checkpoints in Madhesh Province.

APF Brigade Commander Dipak Shah revealed that, following the interception of smuggled and under-invoiced goods from Birgunj, Nepal's primary border entry point, they were subsequently handed over to Birgunj Customs and the Revenue Investigation Office in Pathalaiya for further action.

In another incident, a team of armed police seized 78 bags of clothing worth Rs 8 million, believed to have been illegally imported from India and concealed within Nepal. These seized goods were forwarded to the Revenue Investigation Office in Itahari for further investigation.

Just last Sunday, the revenue investigation team, in collaboration with the Armed Police Force, seized a truck carrying clothing worth millions of rupees from Siraha's Madar, which was en route to Kathmandu.

Similarly, on a Saturday morning, clothing worth Rs 5 million was confiscated in Madar, Siraha, in another successful operation.

Despite the authorities' continuous efforts to arrest smugglers and intercept illegal goods, the problem of smuggling from India remains rampant, posing significant challenges as the festive season approaches. Authorities are working tirelessly to address this issue and prevent the flow of smuggled items into Nepal.


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