Smuggling rife at Maheshpur small customs

Published On: September 23, 2017 09:40 AM NPT By: SHER BAHADUR KC

BUTWAL, Sept 22: Smuggling is flourishing through Maheshpur border checkpoint of Nawalparasi district with Sources say police are also involved in smuggling.

As police are working actively to control smuggling through border points in Rupandehi districts, smugglers have found a safe haven in Nawalparasi. Few weeks ago traders used to bring chemical fertilizers and food grains through the border point. Now, they are bringing in clothes from India. 
Smugglers turned to Maheshpur after Superintendent of Police of Rupandehi District Police Office, Shyam Gyawali, directed police personnel to intensify checking at the border to control smuggling. 

However, the revenue squad of Armed Police Force (APF) stationed at Danda is not doing anything to control smuggling. Superintendent of Police of Nawalparasi District Police Office, Mukunda Raj Acharya, too is standing as a mute spectator. Border security base camp of APF is also not doing the needful to control smuggling on border area. 

Sources say APF personnel do not record entry of some vehicles coming from India to facilitate smugglers. 

As Belahiya and Krishnanagar customs office are more managed and have more staffers, smugglers are turning to small customs offices like Maheshpur. There are only four staffers at the Maheshpur customs office which is led by a non-gazetted officer. The customs office fall under the jurisdiction of Bhairahawa Customs Office.

“Illegal activity is not possible on our premises. It might have happened outside,” Gopal Bhattarai, in-charge of the small customs office, said. “We have intensified checking process in recent days.”
Traders bypass the small customs office to bring goods from India through other entry points.

ozens of women and small children have been bringing goods to Nepal from India through these points. Similarly, importers pay customs duty for only small quantity of goods. Likewise, smugglers have been found using already used declaration forms to evade custom duties. Goods imported through these points reach to markets in Butwal and surrounding areas.

According to sources, traders like Rajendra Sharma and Bablu Baniya of India as well as Nawalparasi-based traders Hari Chandra Jaiswal, Pappu Pandey, Surendra Jaiswal are involved in smuggling of goods. Assistant Sub-Inspector Gajendra Sah of District Police Office, Nawalparasi, is working hand in glove with smugglers, they added. “He is working as a bridge between police chief Acharya and smugglers.”

However, police chief Acharya denies such allegations.

“Such activity (smuggling) is normal in border areas throughout the country. We are trying our best to control smuggling,” he added.

Nagendra Pandey, chief of Revenue Investigation Office, Butwal, said that the office has increased its surveillance in Maheshpur area in recent days. The office recently took under control a truck carrying smuggled cloth. The trader bringing the consignment was fined Rs 1 million, he added.
Maheshpur is 45 km away from Butwal. Though APF base camp is just four kilometers away, smuggling is rife in Maheshpur.  

The base camp has been entrusted with the task of preventing smuggling in border areas of Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu and Rupandehi. Deputy Superintendent of Police Shree Ram Kunwar, chief of the base camp, said the force has intensified patrolling to control smuggling. “There is no ‘setting’ of police with smugglers. This is false allegation,” he told Republica over phone.

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