Australian national arrested with hash

Kathmandu, March 8

The Narcotics Control Bureau yesterday arrested a 52-year-old Australian national in possession of 845 grams of hashish from the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The arrestee has been identified as Robert Puch (passport P8123183). He was about to board a Turkish Air flight (TK 727) bound for Istanbul when the anti-drug officials scanned an acoustic guitar he was carrying to discover hashish concealed inside its body.

According to NCB, he used to work as a garment exporter in Kathmandu and had married a Nepali woman some six years back. Puch was on his way to Greece via Istanbul with the hard drug. An official said X-ray scanning detected hashish in the guitar’s body.

The NCB has stepped up vigil at the Tribhuvan International Airport to catch drug traffickers after more than 20 persons were caught trying to smuggle hashish abroad by concealing it inside ornamental items, handicraft, postal parcels and garments.

Hashish fetches more than $20,000 per kg in Europe and the demand of Nepali hashish is high in foreign countries due to its 'quality', said the official.

Puch will face charges under the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act, 1976.