KAVRE: The police today arrested a youth trying to smuggle 20 kg gold from China at Tatopani border check point.
Twenty-six-year-old Dawa Lama of Listi VDC in Sindhupalchowk was arrested with the biggest ever haul of smuggled gold at Tatopani border point when 20 kilos of yellow metal was recovered from Lama’s motorbike.
According to SI Jas Bahadur Tamang, the gold was kept under motorbike’s seat and was seized by the police acting on a tip off.
Gold traders say the smuggled gold seized today could fetch Rs 69 million at the prevailing market price.
Five months ago, Barhabise police had seized 10 kg gold from Araniko Highway and one Nepali and two Chinese nationals were arrested. The next day, police arrested one Chinese national with one kg gold from the Tatopani border point.
Eight months ago, police had seized nine kg gold from Dhulikhel check post. The next day, Tatopani police arrested a Chinese national with three kg gold from Tataopani customs. Nearly 27 months ago, police had seized 19 kg gold from Koteshwor in Kathmandu.
It is estimated that gold smuggling from China’s Khasa to Nepal has increased after India tightened gold import. According to traders, 100 kg gold is being smuggled to India from China via Nepal every day. Smugglers can make up to Rs 6 lakh profit on one kilo of gold by selling it in the Indian market.
The Nepal Police had seized 60 kg gold while it was being smuggled in 2013. There is a provision to provide money equivalent to 40 per cent of the seized gold to the detectives and police.
According to sources, smugglers procure gold from Hong Kong, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia and bring it to Nepal via Tataopani border point through Lhasa. “Indian and Chinese nationals are involved in the smuggling, but they use Nepali nationals as mules to carry the precious metal,” police said.