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Gold smuggling probe stalls

Gold smuggling probe stalls

Despite the completion of a report that said 293 individuals are directly and indirectly involved in the 33 kg gold-smuggling scandal, the fate of the case remains in limbo as the government fails to make progress in the investigation.

The investigation, which was led by then Home Ministry joint-secretary Ishwor Poudel, concluded after a 752-page report was submitted to the prime minister on August 1. The team had suggested that the government form a proper committee to further the investigation and continue arrests until an official team is set up to interrogate those accused of smuggling the yellow metal.

Last month, Ramesh Uprety and Benu Shrestha were detained in the United Arab Emirates. Uprety is the brother of Chudamani Upreti aka Gore, the kingpin of the smuggling racket. The duo is in custody of Interpol and the government has sent necessary documents to the Emirati officials to repatriate them.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Lama, a member of the investigation team, many of the suspects are yet to be interrogated while the process of arresting others has slowed down. “We have asked the government to form a team with some of the best officers in Nepal Police,” said Lama.