Commission Submits Gold Smuggling Report to Home Minister

Gold Smuggling

The investigative commission assigned to probe gold smuggling has submitted its findings to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane.

Dilliraj Acharya, the commission’s Chairman and a former judge, disclosed that he handed over the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday.

Amid accusations of protecting political figures involved in the smuggling of 60 kilograms of gold through airport customs and other related incidents, pressure grew for the establishment of a high-level inquiry commission.

In response to these concerns, the government appointed former judge Acharya to lead the commission, which also included members such as Kishor Jung Karki, Prem Raj Joshi, and Sahakul Thapa.

Acharya mentioned that the commission has crafted recommendations for the government based on statements, on-site investigations, and technical analyses involving individuals connected to gold smuggling. However, he refrained from disclosing specific details of the report.

Additionally, the commission members conducted on-site inspections at various border crossings as part of their investigative efforts.

Originally scheduled for submission two days earlier, the report’s delivery was postponed due to the ongoing proceedings for the selection of the Chairman of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister’s vote of confidence in the House of Representatives.

Formed by the Council of Ministers on October 1, 2023, the Commission was tasked with investigating the illicit importation of gold.

The comprehensive report, spanning approximately four hundred pages, delineates instances of gold smuggling, including the confiscation of 60.716 kilograms from Tribhuvan International Airport and the discovery of 9.5 kilograms concealed within electronic cigarettes (Vape).

Recommendations for combating gold smuggling, along with identified airport vulnerabilities, are outlined in the extensive report.

Noteworthy incidents include the apprehension of a Chinese national at Tribhuvan International Airport found with electronic cigarettes containing 9 kilograms of gold, which subsequently triggered investigations leading to the arrest of Rahul, son of Maoist Vice Chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

Furthermore, the Revenue Investigation Department seized 60.716 kilograms of gold, initially cleared through airport customs scrutiny.

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