KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 9

Police have arrested two legal gold traders of New Road in connection with the June 18 case of 15 kilogram fake gold smuggling.

The arrestees have been identified as Srinivas Upadhya, 56, of Lucky Jewellers and Vijay Tamrakar, 52, of Ashtamangala Jewellery, both stationed in New Road. It has been learnt that they were arrested on August 31, and are in police custody as per the order of the Kathmandu District Court.

Both the traders were arrested in charge of selling half kilogram of gold biscuits without turning them into jewellers.

After buying gold from Nepal Rastra Bank jewellers are not allowed to sell it without turning it into jewelleries as per the existing rules.

Police, however, suspect that the duo was directly related to the smugglers.

Superintendent of Police Somendra Singh Rathore of the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, said circumstantial evidence showed that they had brought the gold with the aim of selling it at the black market, and suspect of operating the organised crime.

On June 28, some gold smugglers with support from some police personnel, were able to escape a police raid by Durbarmarg police at Kamaladi.

However, another group of police was able to retrieve 15 kilogram of fake gold and half kilogram of real gold after the smuggler threw the fake gold from the vehicle’s window and escaped the arrest. The smugglers, however, were able to escape the police raid.

The smugglers had gold coated over 14 kilograms of silver and were planning to sell those as gold.

The event drew criticism from the public after suspecting involvement of police in the case. Later, the Metropolitan Police Office, Rani Pokhara formed a probe committee to investigate the case.

The committee later found that two police constables of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Durbarmarg, Bahadur Singh Kadayat and Prasanna Shrestha, had helped the smugglers to escape the raid by collaborating with them.

Following the probe committee’s finding, police have been able to arrest 11 people, including two businessmen, all of whom are now in police custody.

The number of arrestees include Altaf Hussein Ansari, a notorious fake currency smuggler and the mastermind behind the June 28 Kamaladi fake gold scheme.

Others include Nilesh Shakhia, Kaushal Patel, Dewan Singh Patel, Vijay Patel, police constables Prasanna Shrestha and her husband Umesh Shrestha, police constable Kadayat and Kaligarh Manish.

“The investigation into the case has reached the final stage as we will now present our case at the court,” SP Rathore said.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 10, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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