Gambling den busted in Lalitpur

Kathmandu, June 3

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police raided a gambling parlour at Kharibot of Sanepa, Lalitpur last night and arrested 24 persons, including eight women, for gambling and organising gambling activities.

SP Meera Chaudhary said the well-furnished gambling parlour was found to be operating from a three-storey rented house under the cloak of ‘Career Development Training Institute and Charcoal Lounge & Bar when CIB carried out the raid based on a tip-off.

The gambling den was like a ‘mini casino’ with high-stakes games. Trained employees, mainly women, were hired to make arrangement of games for moneyed persons. The venue had facilities of special casino tables, chips, CCTV cameras, and high-quality service and security. CIB said the parlour also used to provide pick-up and drop service to the clients.

Though CIB managed to arrest 24 suspects, alleged parlour operator Ramesh Agrawal of Parsa district is yet to be caught as he was not there when police conducted the nightly raid. Police have also seized Rs 704,750 cash, USD 186, Chinese Yuan 100, INR 500, 8,410 units of chips, 28 mobile phone sets, a laptop computer, 20 CCTV cameras and 132 decks of playing cards from the parlour.

After police stepped up its surveillance at casinos to curb the entry of Nepali gamblers, the number of Nepalis going to casinos has come down and many casino frequenters have started moving on to covert gambling dens. Retired government employees, businesspersons and contractors top the chart of gamblers.

“The law bars Nepali citizens from entering casinos with the intent of gambling. ‘All-seasoned gamblers’ are shifting to gambling dens in search of a safer place,” said an official.

The Gambling Act-1963 is not tough enough to curb the offence as gamblers and operators of gambling dens can easily be let off the hook with a meager fine of just Rs 200 in the first instance, according to the official. Police said gambling was one of leading causes of social crimes and domestic violence.