Kathmandu, February 5
Harisharan Khadka, 40, one of the key members of a gold smuggling racket run by Chudamani Upreti aka Gorey, was arrested in Dubai by Dubai Police Force a few days ago.
Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, who is the spokesperson for Nepal Police, confirmed that Khadka was in the custody of Dubai police. “Nepal Police is working on legal procedures to bring him home for criminal investigation and prosecution. We hope that he will be behind bars in Nepal within a few days.”
According to SSP Subedi, Khadka, who hails from Kavre district, had been living in Dubai for the last 10 years. He had gone there to work. But later he joined the gold smuggling racket led by Gorey. As a member of the racket, Khadka used to purchase gold in Dubai and smuggle it into Nepal via Tribhuvan International Airport.
Gorey, 37, of Urlabari in Morang district, is accused of smuggling around 3,800 kg gold from Dubai, through TIA in 421 trips since 2015. Gorey had also allegedly masterminded the murder of one of his associates, Sanam Shakya, on March 2. Shakya, 36, a close aide of Gorey, was electrocuted to death for not disclosing the whereabouts of the 33 kg gold smuggled from Dubai in the third week of January 2018. Gorey was arrested from Gaurighat, Kathmandu, on May 22 after police started a search operation following the killing of Sanam. He has been in Morang district prison since then.
Following the arrest of Gorey, an Interpol Red Notice was issued for the arrest of four persons — Ramesh Upreti, Mohan Kumar Agrawal, Harisharan Khadka and Benu Shrestha — on June 18 for their alleged involvement in the gold smuggling racket.
Nepal-based National Crime Bureau of Interpol had requested Interpol General Secretariat, France, to issue Red Notice against the absconding accused involved in the murder and gold smuggling.
Dubai police, following the Red Notice, arrested the younger brother of Gorey, Ramesh Upreti, on July 15 from Dubai; Benu Shrestha was arrested and brought to Nepal on October 15 for prosecution; Mohan Kumar Agrawal, who is said to be the financier of the smuggled and disappeared 33 kg gold is still at large.
NCB has also issued diffusion letters for the arrest of Krishna Basnet, Tuk Bahadur Magar, Govinda Prasad Tiwari, Bhojraj Bhandari, Rohit Acharya, Chetnath Bhandari, Krishna Gopal Agrawal and Mohammad Ustad Miya for their involvement in the gold smuggling racket.
A version of this article appears in print on February 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.