Nepal | April 09, 2020

Smuggling of medicinal herbs to China on the rise

Prakash Singh

Mules being used to smuggle medicinal herbs to China through Kerani, in Humla on Friday, December 30, 2016. Photo: THT

Bajura, December 30 

Smuggling of restricted products from hilly districts, including Humla, Dolpa, Mugu, Bajura and Bajhang to China is on the rise.

Police have seized a large quantity of wild animal parts, red sandalwood, precious medicinal herbs, among others, from smugglers in recent times.

Precious herbs among other items are reportedly in high demand in different cities of China.  The smugglers have been openly exiting the country with the prohibited items from 10 different border points of the districts. Police said there has been a sharp increase in smuggling via Tanke, Chuwakhola, Limi, Maspur, Khagalgaun of Humla, Nakchhelagna of Mugu, LhameChhangara, Khungkhola of Dolpa, and UraiBhangjyang of Bajhang. The border points have since then become a transit point to smuggle precious items due to lack of security.

It is said the smugglers and herbs traders have established temporary huts near the Nepal-China border.

BirendraSubedi, chief of District Forest Office, Bajura claimed that he was unaware of smuggling in the district. Although a Range post was established at Badhu some time back, smuggling is rife due to lack of coordination between forest office and police. Medicinal herbs worth millions of rupees are being smuggled to China from Tanke, Chuwakhola, Limi, Maspur among other places.

A local, MangalBohora at Kanda VDC, said as many as seven tents had been erected in the VDC  to dryJatamashi. “A trader from Humla is collecting the herbs,” he said. Bohora added that more than 100 quintals of medicinal herb was being prepared for the Tibetan market.

Meanwhile, District Forest Officer of Bajhang, Ashok Kumar Shrestha, said he was unaware of the smuggling of the medicinal herbs via northern border points.

Inspector Om PrakashYadav at District Police Office, Humla too claimed that he was unaware of it.

A version of this article appears in print on December 31, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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