KATHMANDU, Jan 16: SSP Shyam Khatri deployed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has been recalled to Nepal Police Headquarters for investigation into the recent gold smuggling case.
Based on a tip-off, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on January 5 had seized 33 kg of 'smuggled' gold from Pinglasthan of Kathmandu and had arrested three persons. The precious yellow metal was cleared by the TIA Customs.
Nepal Police Spokesperson, SSP Thakur Prasad Gyawali told Republica Online that Khatri was recalled to investigate the case. Police Headquarters had directed him to be present at the Administration Department from Sunday.
“It’s not that the cops at TIA were involved or assisted the smuggling, they are being interrogated for a detailed investigation,” he said.
A highly-placed source at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), said that it is impossible to get the smuggled gold cleared through the TIA Customs without assistance from the cops deployed there.
“Names of unbelievable persons and organizations may be revealed if the identification of those behind the smuggling is established and if police is successful to bust the organized network,” said a MoHA Joint-Secretary.
The roles of police officials came to light based on the statements of carriers, middlemen and customs officials currently under CIB’s custody. Police made an aggressive move after it found out that most of the police officials at TIA were found to be in contact with gold smugglers time and again.
According to police sources, even senior officials at Police Headquarters, Metropolitan Police Office were in a constant touch with people under scanner for gold smuggling.
“SSP Khatri was recalled for seeking information on the recent gold smuggling, action will be taken if found guilty,” said a police source.
Based on the information provided by Interpol, police had arrested three persons while they were heading to their destination after receiving two luggage that arrived via Air Arabia flight from Dubai. The seized gold was in the form of 282 gold biscuits, each of them weighing 10 tolas; 19 rings and 18 chains and was craftily hidden in the false bottom of suitcases.