Gold smuggling accused SSP Khatri sent to judicial custody

BIRATNAGAR: One of the main accused of 33.5 kg gold smuggling case SSP Shyam Khatri, who surrendered before the Morang District Court today, has been sent to jail.

Khatri had surrendered before court at 10:45 am today.

The court ordered Khatri to judicial custody citing that there are premises on which he could be proved guilty.

It has been learnt that Khatri had fled to India and was in hiding for two months until Nepal Police issued a diffusion notice against him. Khatri, who arrived at Biratnagar, Morang on Wednesday presented himself before court through Advocate Hemraj Pant.

Earlier, another prime accused, Chudamani Upreti aka Gorey, while accusing Khatri of playing a major part in smuggling gold, had said that Khatri made arrangements with police officials including former DIG Govinda Niraula who is in judicial custody at Eastern Regional Prison, Jhumka.

Moreover, Upreti claimed that Khatri used to take Rs 50,000 per kg of gold that came out from the airport, illegally.

According to Upreti, Khatri used to haul the smuggled gold outside the airport in his vehicle with help from Bishnu Bahadur Khadka and Ambar Bahadur Thapa Magar who were released on general date, a week ago.

Khatri was transferred from Police Training Centre in Nepalgunj to Kathmandu based Tribhuvan International Airport on October, 2015. He worked at the airport for over a year. The main accused, Gorey, in his statement had said that, Khatri hauled 400 kilo grams of smuggled gold outside the airport in 16 months.

According to Court Officer, Kedar Prasad Gautam, the court ordered judicial custody to Khatri under Prevention of Organised Crime Act, Clause 51 and Civil Code Court Management Chapter 118 (2).

With this development, the court has sent 30 out of the 63 accused of gold smuggling and murder to judicial custody while 31 others are at large.