District Court today sentenced six people, including main accused Chudamani Upreti, alias Gorey, to life for smuggling 33 kg gold and murdering Sanam Shakya, an alleged carrier of the smuggled gold.

Besides Upreti, Tekraj Malla Thakuri, Lakpa Sherpa, Mohan Kafle, Narendra Karki, and Bhojraj Bhandari were sentenced to life imprisonment. Two other accused in the case, Rajan Kumar and Madan Prasad Ghimire, were sentenced to three years and six months, respectively.

The court, however, acquitted 48 others, whereas 21 accused are still at large. Morang Police had filed a charge-sheet against 77 people on 2 May 2018.

Thirty-three kilograms gold smuggled to Tribhuvan International Airport from Dubai in the second week of February 2018 had disappeared. To find the status of the missing gold, Chudamani Upreti had tortured gold carrier Sanam Shakya to death. The whereabouts of the gold are still not known.

All police officers, including Deputy Inspector General Diwesh Lohani, former DIG Govind Prasad Niraula, Superintendent of Police Bikashraj Khanal, Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Raut, Sub-inspector Bal Krishna Sanjel, Head Constable Amar Bahadur Thapa Magar and Constable Bishnu Khadka implicated in the case have been given clean chit by the court.

Upreti was also found guilty of abducting Shakya and holding him in captivity. The chargesheet states that around 33 kg gold worth Rs 17 billion was smuggled via Tribhuvan International Airport from Dubai.

The verdict was issued by a single bench of district judge Bharat Lamsal.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 6, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.