Drug racket busted in Kathmandu valley


In one of the single biggest anti-drug operations conducted by Narcotic Control Bureau in recent memory, narco cops have arrested nine members of an organised drug racket from different places of Kathmandu valley in the past 10 days.

Those taken into custody have been identified as Sandeep Rai, 31, Deepak Rai, 32, Sonam Kagate, 36, and Kesang Yolmule, 36, of Ilam; Tasi Sandip Gurung, 46, of Manang; Bhim Prasad Lowa, 55, of Panchthar; and Dinesh Kumal, 41, Rajesh Shrestha, 41, and Santosh Sapkota, 43, of Jhapa.

Superintendent of Police Krishna Kumar Mahat, NCB spokesperson, said 536.5 grams of brown heroin, 7.7 grams of amphetamine, two drug-weighing machines, Rs 671,500, US$ 6,100 and three motorcycles were also confiscated from them.

They were found to be peddling drugs in the valley by smuggling the contraband from India and other places of Nepal.

Persons possessing hard drugs such as hashish, heroin, opium and cocaine may be liable to life imprisonment along with confiscation of property as per the Narcotic Drug (Control and Punishment) Act. Mahat informed that some members of the drug racket were at large. NCB has launched a manhunt for them.

According to NCB, persons involved in drug smuggling do not seem hesitant to take the risk of being arrested and jailed for making a quick buck. Arrests and seizures are doing little to control drug smuggling. Racketeers working on the top layer have been selling the dream of earning money easily to their agents.

NCB said growing demand for drugs was also to be blamed for the increasing trend in drug smuggling and underscored the need to raise awareness against drug abuse at the local, regional and national levels.

If the demand for drugs among users decreases, it will automatically discourage racketeers.

Nepal Police had arrested 4,259 persons for their involvement in drug smuggling in the fiscal year 2019-20. The number of persons arrested for drug crime in 2019-20 is less than those held in 2018-19.

Police have attributed the decline in drug crime rate to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.