Crackdown on blackmarketing

Kathmandu, October 4

Unscrupulous dealers have been found either creating artificial shortage of cooking gas or selling it to make a killing, taking advantage of short supply caused by the ongoing blockade at border checkpoints.

Police on Saturday arrested Madan Thapa, 30, of Thankot for allegedly selling new cooking gas cylinders for Rs 5,000 although the market price of cooking gas per cylinder is Rs 3,800.Some LPG dealers have been forcing the consumers to buy new cylinders instead of refilling old ones.

Smriti Gurung of Baneshwor said she had no option other than to borrow a spare cooking gas cylinder from her neighbour after the local dealer did not refill her empty cylinder for three weeks.

On October 1, the law enforcement agency held a trader on the charge of hoarding cooking gas cylinders for profiteering and black-marketing. Acting on a complaint, the Metropolitan Police Circle, Janasewa, raided LPG godown of Suresh Nakarmi, 42, in Tebahal and arrested him with 42 units of sealed LPG cylinders.

Similarly, police arrested Bharat Bahadur Malla, 42, proprietor of Malla Grocery at Changunarayan, Bhaktapur, for not supplying cooking gas to customers and hoarding essential goods on September 30. Eight filled LPG cylinders were confiscated from his grocery store.

Officials said all those arrested have been charged with offences under the Black Marketing Act, 1975.