Kathmandu, July 27
Benu Shrestha, an alleged member of a gold smuggling racket run by Chudamani Upreti aka Gorey, has been arrested in Dubai, a Nepal Police source said.
Shrestha arrested a few days ago is in the custody of Dubai police. An Interpol Red Notice was issued for the arrest of four persons — Ramesh Upreti, Mohan Kumar Agrawal, Harisharan Khadka and Shrestha — on June 18. Earlier, Upreti, the younger brother of Gorey was arrested in Dubai, and Nepali Police is in the process of bringing both of them home for prosecution. Shrestha is among 75 persons charge-sheeted at Morang District court.
The special probe committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate the March 32 murder of Sanam Shakya and disappearance of 33 kilograms of smuggled gold had claimed that Shrestha, who is also a Kathmandu-based jeweller, had caused Shakya, his employee, to work as a carrier of smuggled gold under Gorey. A gang of Gorey had electrocuted him to death in Morang for allegedly disappearing the 33 kg gold.
A MoHA source said Shrestha had also used Tekraj Malla in gold smuggling. Malla was sent to judicial remand by the court for his involvement in the murder and gold smuggling. In a statement given to the court, he had implicated Gorey and Shrestha. Also operating illegal hundi business from Dubai, Shrestha used to smuggle gold into Nepal.
According to the probe committee, the rackeeters, in collusion with some police and customs officers, had smuggled around 3,800 kg gold from Dubai through Tribhuvan International Airport in 421 trips since 2015. The tenure of the committee had expired last week and it is busy preparing a detailed report. The government is likely to delegate the power of the committee to the Central Investigation Bureau for remaining investigation, the MoHA source informed.
A version of this article appears in print on July 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.