Jeweller arrested for involvement in 33.5 kg gold smuggling

Kathmandu, January 16

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested the owner of a noted jewellery store in connection with the January 5, 2017 seizure of 33.5 kg gold.

Superintendent of Police Jeevan Shrestha, CIB spokesperson, informed that Rahul Goyal, 32, proprietor of Bishal Bazaar-based Shalimar Jeweller, was held for his collusion with the gold smuggling racket.

Goyal of Rajasthan, India, had been absconding after CIB arrested Gopal Bahadur Shahi with the gold from Pinglasthan, Kathmandu. Shahi smuggled the gold to Kathmandu from Dubai.

According to SP Shrestha, CIB had filed a charge-sheet against 33 suspects at Kathmandu District Court through the Office of District Attorney under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act on February 4 last year. Of them, only 12 were arrested while others, including Goyal, had been absconding.

As per the act, organised crime shall be deemed committed if a person commits a crime on behalf of the criminal or commits a serious crime knowingly as a member or founding member of criminal group or on the direction of or on behalf of such criminal group. The defendants may face a jail sentence of up to 20 years, along with confiscation of property, if convicted.

CIB had also dragged four other Kathmandu-based jewellers into the investigation process. Though Goyal was arrested on January 9, CIB released a press release today informing about his arrest. It said police were committed to bringing to book any person or institution directly or indirectly involved in the smuggling. Police have already established that some customs officials assisted the smugglers in crossing the checkpoint at Tribhuvan International Airport with the gold on January 5.

Shahi, who carried the gold, had told CIB that the customs officials had assisted him in crossing  TIA with over 200 kg gold ‘without any screening’ in the past one year. Most of the smuggled gold enters Nepal through Tatopani.