‘Big fish of smuggling racket yet to be caught’

Kathmandu, June 6

Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today said that the special probe panel formed by his ministry to investigate the March 2 murder of Sanam Shakya and disappearance of 33 kg gold was likely to catch ‘big fish’ of the racket.

Speaking at a press meeting organised at the Ministry of Home Affairs to make public his 100-day report, Minister Thapa said, “The act of fishing has yet to be completed. An investigation is the to establish the persons involved in the gold smuggling. We have so far just managed to catch some fingerlings. We are confident that the probe panel will be able to catch big fish as well.” However, he did not disclose who the big fish could be.

He also informed that Ram Kumar Tiwari of Kavre, a close aide to Chudamani Upreti aka Gore, was arrested yesterday upon his return from South Korea. With this, the number of people arrested in connection with the murder and gold smuggling has reached 36. Minister Thapa claimed that illegal hundi transactions and gold smuggling were interconnected.

“The ministry will continue its crackdown on syndicate in all sectors, criminal networks, hooliganism and corruption for political stability and good governance which are the preconditions for development and prosperity,” he said.

Presenting ‘milestones’ of his 100 days in office, Minister Thapa said the government had been successful in breaking the long-held syndicate in the transport sector. “The ministry formed monitoring and implementation committees to manage the traffic in the country, including Kathmandu valley. We have issued a 37-point directive to the district administration offices to neutralise criminal activities for good governance,” he informed.

Similarly, the draft of Internal Security Act, 2018, amendment to the Citizenship Act, National ID Card Management Act and Social Reforms Act were sent to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for its consent. “The drafting of the Federal Police Act will be finalised soon. The MoHA is working with the Ministry of Labour and Employment to curb foreign employment frauds. All chief district officers have been directed to discourage delay in development projects and take action against the guilty,” he said.

Minister Thapa said the ministry had also played a lead role in increasing the daily livelihood allowance of prisoners to Rs 65 from existing Rs 45. “We also developed of the Immigration Policy, 2018 which is already approved,” he added.