Over 118 kilos of illegal gold confiscated from Tatopani point in six years

MELAMCHI: More than 118 kilograms of undeclared gold was confiscated from the Tatopani point in Sindhupalchok in the past six years.

A total of 118 kilos and 11 tola (One tola = 11.66 grams) and 93 lal (100 lal = one tola) was seized from the Tatopani point, along the Nepal-China border, in Sindhupalchok in the past six years. It was later handed over to the Tatopani Customs Office and the Department of Revenue Investigation.

Before the April 2015 earthquake, Tatopani, the major trade point between Nepal and China, was largely used for gold smuggling, a police investigation reports show.

Tatopani has become a transit route to smuggle gold from China to third countries and the smuggling is taking place in connivance of Nepali and Chinese nationals.

Vegetable sacks, bus tyres and loaders were found being used for transporting the contraband. But so far, only those hired for carrying the contraband have been arrested instead of real smugglers.

The year 2014/15 was the year when the largest amount of illegal gold was confiscated from the point in the past six years, according to Superintendent of Police Mohan Prasad Pokhrel at the District Police Office, Chautara.

Police had arrested 11 people along with illegal gold weighing 65 kilos six tola and 29 lal in that year.

With the closure of this route following the quake, smugglers have reportedly found alternative routes to pass the contraband to their destination.