Police arrested two individuals with 4kg gold biscuits and a 2.5 tola gold jewelleries from the Nepalgunj Airport on Friday. They had arrived via Shree Airlines from Kathmandu.
The authorities identified the duo as Buddhiman Khati of Morang and Amir Lagun Bishwakarma of Jhapa. They had hidden the gold inside the sole of the shoes.
“The duo was found suspicious following which the officers checked them and found the gold. There were six biscuits of gold,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) Shyam Prasad Adhikari.
Police informed Bishwakarma had hidden two biscuits each in both shoes while Khati had one biscuit each in his shoes. A gold necklace, a bangle and five lockets were found in Khati’s luggage.
However, after the arrest, local jewellery shop owners came forward arguing that the gold was legitimate.
“The gold belongs to three respected jewellery shops of Nepalgunj. It was bought from Kathmandu-based Buddha Jewellery Workshop Pvt. Ltd. and they have the bill,” said Salaudin Jasgad, president of Nepalgunj Gold and Silver Dealers Association.
Jasgad informed that the bill shows two gold biscuits each were bought by Nepal Jewellers and Nepal Abhushan Bhandar on September 2. The other two biscuits are in the name of Sanjit Jewellers for which there are two separate bills of September 1.
Likewise, Jasgad said that the 2.5 tola gold jewellery was bought in the name of Buddhiman Khati on September 3.
While the jewellery shops owners argued the gold was legitimate, they had no proper answers when police inquired them behind the reason of bringing it by hiding in the shoes.
It was since then that the case turned mysterious.
“We are investigating why the legitimately bought gold was brought in an illegal way and if there were any other reasons,” said SP Adhikari, who is also the chief of Nepalgunj District Police Office.
According to the officials at Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association, there is no need of hiding the gold if bought legitimately.
“Jewellery shops buy gold from commercial banks. The shop needs to be a registered one. One shop can also sell the biscuit to another registered shop with proper record and billing; we cannot sell biscuit to an individual,” said Manoj Kumar Shah, spokesperson of the association.
Shah also added that the gold can be transported without hindrance if there are bills to declare their legitimacy.
The authorities are also astonished that the gold was undetected in the domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) despite two X-ray machines and strict checking.
The officers at Metropolitan Airport Security Police Office, which looks over the security at TIA, informed that they have also started necessary investigation.
“The gold is found to have reached Nepalgunj via TIA. We have formed a probe team under Superintendent of Police (SP) Nanti Raj Gurung to investigate how the gold entered unnoticed,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajesh Nath Bastola, chief of the airport security police office.
The arrested duo has also been handed over to the Department of Revenue Investigation, Kohalpur along with the gold.
Source : TRN,