Poddar in Kalimati police custody

Kathmandu, June 21

The special probe committee led by Ishwor Raj Paudel, joint secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, formed to investigate the March 2 murder of Sanam Shakya and disappearance of 33 kg smuggled gold, has kept businessman Bimal Poddar in the custody of Metropolitan Police Circle, Kalimati.

A MoHA source said Kathmandu District Court had remanded the Indian national to seven-day judicial custody under the Some Public (Crime and Punishment) Act for further investigation into his alleged involvement in gold smuggling and illegal hundi business, and to collect evidences against him.

The remand will be effective from Tuesday, the day of his arrest. Poddar was allegedly involved in smuggling of contraband in collusion with some top former and serving cops.

The source claimed that Poddar had invested tens of millions of rupees in housing business under his brother’s name as he lacked Nepali citizenship and is one of the owners of Dillibazar-based Silver City Apartments.

The panel, also consisting of police officials, continues to quiz Poddar. Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa had said hundi transactions and gold smuggling were interconnected.

“His alleged involvement in gold smuggling and hundi business came to light after some persons arrested in connection with gold smuggling spilled the beans about him. The documents confiscated from the house of Mohan Kumar Agrawal in Dillibazar during the recent raid had hinted his link to the racket,” the source informed, adding Poddar is also a business partner of trader Deepak Malhotra.

However, the source ruled out Malhotra’s involvement in smuggling and hundi business. Earlier, Morang District Police had filed a charge-sheet against 63 persons, including former and current police officials, traders and alleged smugglers, among others, at the district court through the district attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, the probe panel had handed over Ram Kumar Tiwari, a close aide to alleged gold smuggling kingpin Chudamani Upreti aka Gore to Morang District Police after two weeks of investigation in Kathmandu. Tiwari was arrested upon his return from South Korea on June 5. Police have also found his link to ‘gangster’ Ganesh Lama, who is in jail on arms and ammunition case.

Cops raid apartment

KATHMANDU: A joint team of special probe panel and Metropolitan Police Circle, Kalimati, on Thursday raided the Dillibazar-based apartment of businessman Bimal Poddar. Police said they had confiscated some ‘crucial’ documents related to his business transactions. — HNS