Kathmandu, April 6
Police arrested a person with a huge cache of undeclared foreign currency notes being smuggled to Bangkok from Tribhuvan International Airport yesterday.
According to TIA police, Subash Shrestha, 48, of Mitrapark, Kathmandu, was found possessing the contraband during a security screening at Boarding Gate No 5 of sterile zone at TIA. Officials said 22,000 Thai bhat, 1,380 euros, 10,000 US dollars and 80,000 Chinese yuan were confiscated from his baggage.
Shrestha was preparing to board a Thai Air flight along with his wife Umadevi Shrestha, 46, two daughters and a oneyear-old son, when police arrested him with foreign currency notes.
Shrestha is the owner of Kantipur Cafe inside the only international airport of the country. The foreign currency notes seized from Shrestha are worth around Rs 3.6 million.
Police said they were trying to establish the source from where he received the dollars and the purpose of smuggling them to Bangkok. Officials said he would be handed over to the Department of Revenue Investigation, Lalitpur, tomorrow for further inquiry and legal action.
If statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs are something to go by, smuggling of foreign currency, especially US dollars, abroad is rife. Police seized 354,475 US dollars, 5,180 euros, 1,000 pounds, 40,000 UAE dirham, 22,000 Thai bhat and 1,08,000 Chinese yuan in the past one year.
Nepalis followed by Chinese citizens account for the highest number of smugglers.
Thirty-six persons were arrested with illegal foreign currency notes in the past one year, according to police.
On March 5, police had arrested two women who were trying to smuggle a large amount of US dollars into Bangkok from TIA.
They were identified as Sarala Khadka and Rinku Gurung of Kathmandu. The women were to board a Nepal Airlines flight bound for Bangkok,but security screening at the airport revealed that they were concealing undeclared foreign currency notes worth around $65,550 in their handbags.
According to police total $35,650 was seized from Khadka, while $33,900 was seized from the possession of Gurung.
A version of this article appears in print on April 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.