Nepal | September 26, 2020

Sulav Agrawal freed on bail, rearrested

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 30

Twenty-three days after the arrest of Sulav Agrawal, Nepal’s Honorary Consul for Kyrgyzstan, on the charge of black-marketing infrared thermometers amidst the COVID -19 pandemic, Kathmandu District Court today released him on bail.

But, as soon as he paid the demanded bail amount of Rs 2.55 million to the court and walked out, police re-arrested him outside the court.

Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, arrested Agrawal and later submitted him to the Department of Money Laundering Investigation.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobindra Bogati, spokesperson for MPR Teku, said they had arrested Agrawal after finding it necessary to investigate the illegal money he might have earned through black-marketing of similar equipment during the lockdown. Bogati said, “We are even preparing to present Agrawal to the revenue tribunal after DoLI investigates him.

Agrawal, also a prominent businessman representing Shanker Group of Companies, was arrested on April 7, on the charge of selling infrared thermometer at up to three fold higher price than the market price.

Police had claimed they arrested Agrawal red-handed as he was negotiating the price of the much demanded thermometers with police posing as businessmen.

Agrawal was taken into custody from Bal Mandir premises in Naxal, where he had reached in a diplomatic number plate vehicle (209-HCC -1) provided by the Government of Nepal.

Agrawal was demanding Rs 15,000 for each thermal gun though its market price was Rs 3,500, according to police. Agrawal and the disguised police personnel had agreed to buy and sell 67 thermal guns.

Although the issue of black-marketing falls under the jurisdiction of District Administration Office, Agrawal’s adjudication process is being held at the District Court. This is because police have demanded imprisonment of more than one year, over which the DAO does not hold jurisdiction.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 1, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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