‘Take action against key persons in gold smuggling’

Kathmandu, January 11

The Finance Committee of the Legislature-Parliament has instructed the government to take action against the key players involved in the smuggling of 33 kg gold via Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) that was seized on January 5.

The House panel has urged the government to form a high-powered investigation committee comprising of officials from Nepal Police, revenue administration, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Ministry of Home Affairs and other concerned agencies to carry out an investigation and prosecute the people involved (including civil servants) in the smuggling under laws relevant to ‘organised crime’.

Speaking in a series of meetings of the House panel held yesterday and today, many lawmakers have opined that the nature of the recent gold smuggling incident reveals that it is almost impossible to do so without political protection and sought political commitment from Deputy Prime Ministers Bimalendra Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara who were summoned by the Finance Committee today.

The Finance Committee has also instructed the government for better coordination between the government agencies involved in the administration of TIA — CAAN, Nepal Police, National Investigation Department, Department of Customs and others — to stop such criminal activities from taking place. The House panel also directed the government to suspend the staffers of all the agencies who were on duty at the time of the incident.