Chinese-Apple smugglers en route to India via Saptari, held at midnight

SAPTARI: District Police Office, Saptari has arrested six persons including 4 Indian Nationals and 2 Nepali citizens for their alleged involvement in smuggling Chinese apples to India via Saptari district, on Thursday midnight.

The arrestees were identified as Nirmal Kumar Karak, Ritesh Kumar Mahato, Manish Kumar Mahato and Rajiv Mahato of Supaul District in India. Likewise, police has taken 6 cycles and two tempos ready for hauling 1,860 boxes of apples into custody.

Similarly, the tempo drivers-Bhogi Lal Sharma of Chinna Masta rural Municipality and Sujit Kumar Yadav of Raj Biraj Municipality- were also arrested by the police.

A police team led by Inspector Hemanta Bhandari acted on a tip off that the smugglers were hauling Chinese apples at midnight in large quantity to India through an alternative route and made the arrests near Tiladi Koiladi Rural Municipality in the Nepal-India border region.

According to Inspector Bhandari, one of the gang members made away in the dark. Likewise, Bhandari informed that the Police confisticated Chinese apples worth NRs 300,000 loaded in 1860 boxes and ready to be moved in cycles and tempo from Binod Ray’s house in Nepali territory.

The Police made public the smugglers on Friday while the gang pleaded guilty to the charges saying they were paid NRs40 to NRs50 per cartoon by local fruits businessmen to smuggle the apples.

According to Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar Singh, the incident has brought into light the fact that businessmen from India have rented rooms in bordering regions to store various goods and have dispatched smugglers for hauling the goods to India during night.

Earlier, the Police had taken four smugglers into custody from the region with large quantity of contrabands, Pan Masala and grocery items among others.