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Nepal’s former Speaker arrested for alleged involvement in gold smuggling case

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Former Speaker of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Former Speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives and a senior member of the ruling celebration Krishna Bahadur Mahara has been arrested and delivered to Kathmandu for investigation into his alleged involvement in a serious gold smuggling case, a media report mentioned on Monday.

Mr. Mahara, vice-president of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’s ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), was arrested from Pakadi of Kapilvastu district earlier within the day and delivered to the capital from the Bhairahawa airport, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.

Upon arrival within the capital, the 65-year-old was swiftly taken to the Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police in Lazimpat, The Himalayan Times newspaper reported.

CIB spokesperson Hobindra Bogati mentioned a case towards the previous Speaker will probably be ready and forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Mahara will probably be produced within the courtroom to increase his remand, he added.

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane on March 17 had ordered police to implement a report of the inquiry fee on large-scale gold smuggling that pointed to Mr. Mahara’s “involvement” within the case, the report mentioned.

The fee, headed by a former High Court chief decide that submitted its report on March 14, accused the CIB of creating deliberate efforts to not examine Mr. Mahara and former Nepal Police chief and Communist Part of Nepal (UML) chief Sarbendra Khanal within the gold rip-off.

After receiving the report, Home Minister Lamichhane submitted it to Prime Minister Prachanda following which the Cabinet on Friday determined to implement the suggestions of the inquiry fee.

The fee submitted its report after learning the lapses in police investigation into the smuggling of 60 kg of gold, which was hidden inside bike brake footwear final yr, and 9 kg of gold hid inside e-cigarettes in December 2022, the report mentioned.

In October final yr, the District Attorney’s Office filed a case towards Mr. Mahara’s son Rahul for his suspected function in smuggling 9 kg of gold.

Mr. Rahul was arrested on August 30 final yr. According to a authorities report, the father-son duo had been in common contact with Chinese gold smugglers, the report mentioned.

Last week, the Nepal police arrested the son of former Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun in reference to a serious gold smuggling rip-off.

In September final yr, the CIB interrogated Dipesh Pun in reference to the smuggling of 60.716 kg of gold, which was seized quickly after it handed undetected from Tribhuvan International Airport customs workplace in Kathmandu in July 2023.

A particular crew of Nepal Police arrested Dipesh Pun on March 15 from his residence at Dhapasi on the outskirts of Kathmandu, in accordance with police spokesperson, Bhim Prasad Dhakal.

Mr. Dipesh, the final secretary of the All Nepal National Free Students Union (Revolutionary) — the scholar wing of the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) — has shut connections with Dawa Chhiring, the primary suspect within the gold smuggling case.

Mr. Chhiring is presently underneath detention for investigation functions.

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