Kathmandu, June 23
Nepal Police today claimed that it had stepped up action against gold smugglers to bring them to book.
According to statistics released by Nepal Police, it arrested as many as 107 persons with more than 84 kilograms of gold in 11 months of the current fiscal.
Metropolitan Police Office topped the gold seizure chart with 36 kilograms, followed by Sudurpashim Province police (25 kilograms), Province 3 police (11 kilograms), Gandaki Province police (10 kilograms) and Karnali Province police (1 kilogram). The value of the seized gold comes to around Rs 235 million.
Nepal Police had arrested 90 alleged gold smugglers in the last fiscal. It said that the number of smugglers arrested increased to 107 in just 11 months of the current fiscal from 90 in the last fiscal as the security agency adopted zero-tolerance policy against crimes and criminals.
Deputy Inspector General Bishwa Raj Pokharel said, “We have intensified action against persons involved in gold smuggling and illegal trade, transaction and sale of the precious yellow metal. Therefore, more smugglers have been brought to book during the current fiscal compared to the last fiscal. We have accorded a high priority to the arrest and seizure, at the same time.”
Nepal Police said that it had not been able to completely control gold smuggling for want of hi-tech screening devices and detectors along the Indo-Nepal open border and Tribhuvan International Airport.
DIG Pokharel said that the security agency was serious about responding to the changing modus operandi of gold smugglers. Security and customs officials are on high alert to respond to newer modes of smuggling adopted by gold smugglers, according to Pokharel.
Concealing gold in the rectum, battery box, laptop, baggage, air-filter of vehicle, oral cavity, cargo trucks and inner sole of shoes are some of the ways adopted by smugglers. Smugglers also mould gold into jewellery and wear them to outsmart security officials. Some migrant workers returning Nepal are being used as gold carriers, who are promised a ‘good’ wage.
The migrant workers are paid by racketeers from the Gulf via wire after the consignment of gold is received by concerned persons in Nepal.
A version of this article appears in print on June 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.