CIAA raids shops on TIA premises

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has raided coffee shops, duty free shops and currency exchange outlets operating on the premises of the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) on suspicion of irregularities on Friday.

A special squad deployed from the CIAA raided the shops inside TIA following complaints that the shops were involved in unscrupulous activities and were also selling ´unauthorized goods. 

The anti-graft body said it has started investigations into the shops. CIAA spokesperson Shreedhar Sapkota informed that the shops were also found dealing in unauthorized goods. 

According to spokesperson at the anti-graft body Shreedhar Sapkota, the shops were found dealing in the goods they lack permission to do so. 

During the raid, the CIAA officials seized the contract papers of the shops located at the departure and arrival terminals. The CIAA squad had reached the airport at around 2 pm on Friday. 

“For instance, coffee shops are found selling even alcoholic beverages although they are not permitted. We also found that several other shops were engaged in ´unethical activities´,” Sapkota told Republica. 

Spokesperson Sapkota said that the CIAA will initiate further action after studying a field report of the squad. “We will start thorough investigation into the unlawful activities of those shops,” Sapkota added. 

However, this is not the first instance that the shops operating on the TIA premises have been dragged into controversy for their alleged unlawful activities. Some two years ago, the Department of Commerce and Supply Management had investigated the shops after complaints that the shops cheated customers by charging exorbitantly. The department found that the shops were charging customers up to five times more than the maximum retail prices. People who have already checked in at the terminal have no option but to buy from the shops. 

However, the CIAA investigation this time is not focussed on the prices being charged. Also, on Friday, some of the stores were found selling date-expired and unlabeled goods. Some stores were found operating without due registration and had failed to renew their business licenses. And some stores did not even have rental agreement with the TIA. 

Source : Republica