Kathmandu, May 11

Police arrested a woman with a huge amount of undeclared US dollars being smuggled to Mumbai, India from Tribhuvan International Airport yesterday.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Narayan Ranjitkar said Bandana Ghanashyam Sony, 44, was found possessing USD 1 million during a security screening at TIA. The dollars were in denominations of 1,000. Sony was preparing to board a Nepal Airlines flight bound for Mumbai at around 1:30pm when police intercepted her with foreign currency notes. The bills were concealed in a baggage.

DSP Ranjitkar said she was referred to the Department of Revenue Investigation for further action. Meanwhile, police are trying to establish the source of the dollars being smuggled to India and the purpose of the crime. According to statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, smuggling of foreign currencies, especially US dollars, abroad is rife in the country. Police have seized 454,475 US dollars, 5,180 euros, 1,000 pounds, 40,000 UAE dirham, 22,000 Thai bhat and 108,000 Chinese yuan in the past one year.

Nepalis and Chinese citizens account for the highest number of smugglers. Police arrested 37 persons in connection with the smuggling of foreign currencies during the period.

Earlier on March 14, police had arrested Subash Shrestha, 48, of Mitrapark, Kathmandu, with 22,000 Thai bhat, 1,380 euros, 10,000 US dollars and 80,000 Chinese yuan being smuggled to Bangkok. Shrestha was the owner of Kantipur Cafe inside the premises of the only international airport of the country. The foreign currency notes seized from Shrestha amounts to around Rs 3.6 million.