Businessmen allege police-smuggler nexus

Kailali, September 20:

Incidents of smuggling in the district are going unabated thanks to a nexus between police and the smugglers, local businessmen said.

They alleged that the nexus between the smugglers and the civil police had become stronger after the Armed Police Force (APF) joined the nexus.

The APF team led by ASI Devendra Sethi on Wednesday seized 130 sacks of cement that was illegally imported through the Khakraula checkpoint of the district and being taken to Tikapur bazaar with the help of ASI Chanki Kadayat of Satti police post. But the sacks were released after smuggler Madan Khatri bribed Rs 20,000 to the APF, businessmen claimed.

Smuggler Khatri had submitted a custom receipt to the police when the cement was seized. When the APF again asked for the receipt, smuggler Khatri provided them Rs 20,000 as ‘Dashain expenses,’ they alleged. “The police officers are protecting smugglers at a time when Home Minister Bamdev Gautam has launched a campaign to improve the police organisation.

Senior officers of civil police have assigned ASI Kadyat and ASI Badri Dhakal of Kalakunda police post to collect fund from smugglers on monthly basis,” Sanjay Chaudhary, a local of Narayanpur, said. Another local Hariram Chaudhary said smuggling was rife at different checkpoints along the Nepal-India border because police personnel, who are supposed to control smuggling, themselves are protecting the smugglers.

However, Man Singh Mainali, chief at the Tikapur-based Ugratara Battalion of the APF, claimed that the allegation of police protecting the smugglers were baseless. “I have directed police personnel to seize smuggled goods,” he added.

Goods like hardware products, sugar, cement and chemical fertilisers are being imported to Nepal by evading custom duties from Tikuniya of India, according to local businessmen. Hari Regmi, a local of Tikapur, said police personnel were helping the smugglers escort the smuggled goods to the designated areas.

“We charge customs duty as per the receipts of the goods presented by the traders,” chief at the Khakraula customs office, Laxman Chand, said and added that they were feeling

difficulties to carry out their responsibilities in the lack of effective security provision.

Smugglers are using the Khakraula checkpoint, which lacks effective security mechanism.