LAHAN, March 4: Hakim Miya, chief of Lahan Municipality-19, who was arrested with smuggled gold, and five others were jailed on Friday.
A single bench of Siraha District Court Judge Gayatri Prasad Regmi delivered the verdict on the charge of misappropriation of foreign currency exchange and revenue leakage. Ward chief Miya along with Mohammad Rahman, Mohammad Afroj, Mohammad Amirul, Mohammad Kaiyum and Mohammad Riyaz have been sent to the Siraha jail, according to Narendra Shrestha, registrar of the district court.
On January 12, a team of Armed Police Force (APF) had caught the convicts with 1kg and 756 gram of gold from Golbazar Municipality-9 along the East-West Highway. Acting on a tip off, the special APF team had followed the Scorpio jeep (Br 32 Pa 4644) which was secretly being used for transporting the illegal gold to Siraha. The gold was brought from Qatar.
The arrestees were first sent to the Revenue Investigation Department's Eastern Regional Office, Itahari for punishment. Reportedly, Mohammad Kaiyum and Mohammad Amirul had returned from Qatar on January 11. However, they were arrested the next day. Police recovered receipts on the name of seven people who had purchased gold. As mentioned in the receipt, five of them had purchased the gold from the same shop.
Taking advantage of the government provision to allow the foreign workers to bring 50 gram of gold while returning, smugglers have been using such people as porters. No person working in Qatar returns home empty-handed. Shivpujan Yadav of Bariyapatti Rural Municipality who recently returned from Qatar said, "The smugglers reach each camp in Qatar searching for workers to carry their gold." According to him, once the workers reach the airport, brokers meet them and take the gold.A huge chunk of the gold transported to Nepal from the Gulf countries is supplied to the Indian markes. Gold smuggling has been gaining momentum in the major cities of Siraha due to the increasing consumption of smuggled gold in the Indian market.