Member of int'l drug trafficking ring tries to bribe Nepal Police, gets arrested with Rs 5 mln

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Police's Narcotics Control Bureau has nabbed an alleged member of a transnational drug trafficking ring with Rs 5 million, which he offered police officials to get off the hook.

 The suspect has been identified as Purna Bahadur Pakhrin Tamang, a Nepali national who was enlisted as 'most wanted fugitive' by the Nepal Police.

DIGP Jaya Bahadur Chand, who is the in-charge of NCB, the 32-year-old was arrested from Budhanilakatha on the northern outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, on April 29, after two weeks of arduous search and massive mobilisation of intelligence. The NCB had named the manhunt 'Operation Ice'.

The NCB launched a manhunt to nab Purna Bahadur after the anti-drug wing of Nepal Police on April 13 apprehended Netra Gurung (26) and Chitra Tamang (21) of Dhading from Sinamangal in possession of 302 gram of amphetamine being brought to Nepal from Thailand. The smugglers reportedly wanted to the synthetic drug to Australia, Philippines, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries via Nepal.

During interrogation Netra and Chitra had implicated Purna Bahadur as the mastermind of the Nepal-based drug trafficking ring with its network spread to many other countries.

Purna Bahadur allegedly used a middleman, whose name has not been disclosed, to provide the NCB officials with Rs 5 million as bribe 'in the hope of settling the issue'.

"Purna Bahadur of Dhading is an younger brother of Dharma Bahadur Pakhrin Tamang who is much sought after by Australia and Southeast Asian countries for expanding the network of illicit trade of amphetamine. Purna Bahadur was working in coordination with Dharma Bahadur, who is a drug kingpin based in Thailand and China. His arrest is a giant leap forward in dismantling the transnational drug network," said DIGP Chand.

Dharma Bahadur is said to have dispatched a consignment of 54 kg amphetamine to Bhupendra Tamang, a Nepali citizen, and Australian national Raymond John Marsden, who were held from Brisbane with the drug in January, in one of the biggest seizures of narcotic drugs in Australia.