Police arrest nine unscrupulous traders

Kathmandu, November 1

The Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu today arrested nine operators of eight different branded shops in Durbarmarg on charges of overcharging customers.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Ram Dutta Joshi, spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu, informed that these traders were arrested after they ignored repeated calls that were made to them by the police asking them to provide their clarifications.

The Metropolitan Police Range has taken into custody Roshan Ordari of Adventure Outdoor, Shree Krishna Maharjan of Life Style, Uttam Kumar Basnet of Avenue Marketing, Prabin Jha of Platinum Trade Concern, Tulsidhar Bhandari of Bentley, Rajeshwor Shrestha of Watch and See, Nandan Bihani of Tirupati Pvt Ltd and Ditendra Maharjan and Subash Maharjan of Labels Store.

“We had given them a chance to come clean before Dashain. However, all these traders have been refusing to come and provide their clarifications,” said SP Joshi.

The government inspection during Dashain had revealed that these outlets had been keeping high profit margins on sales of different products. However, a few weeks after

the government sealed these outlets, the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers’ Interest (DoSMPCI) had allowed traders to reopen their shops following constant pressure from the private sector. DoSMPCI had then asked the Metropolitan Police Range to investigate the issue and take further action.

Spokesperson SP Joshi informed that cases against all the aforementioned traders have been filed in the district court under Black-marketing and Some Other Social Offences and Punishment Act, 1975. “All these unscrupulous traders will be taken to the court soon,” he added.

The Black-marketing and Some Other Social Offences and Punishment Act allows traders to keep profit margin not exceeding 20 per cent of the cost price of a product. Traders taking more than 20 per cent profit are liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or with a fine or with both.

Meanwhile, SP Joshi also informed that the police have been searching for other traders who were found overcharging customers by the government inspection during Dashain.

Kumar Prasad Dahal, director general of DoSMPCI, said that the government has been intensifying inspection in the market and is also amending different consumer-related laws and policies to make them stronger and contextual.

As per Dahal, four inspection teams of the department have been inspecting the market in Kathmandu Valley every day.