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DPM Shrestha calls for support to conclude investigation on gold smuggling scam


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2023 Aug 09, 7:17, Kathmandu

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha expressed his commitment to bring investigation into the gold smuggling scam to a logical conclusion and to book the culprit at any cost.

Responding to the queries raised by the parliamentarians in the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Tuesday, DPM Shrestha assured that the incumbent government would lay all of its focus for impartial investigation into the scam.

"The government will focus on the investigation. Let's create an enabling environment for the government to take the investigation to a logical conclusion,' he urged.

It may be noted that the Department of Revenue Investigation had seized 155 kg of gold smuggled in brake shoe in front of the Office of Custom at Tribhuvan International Airport on July 18.

Urging one and all to have confidence on the state apparatus, he opined that it would not be appropriate to form a parallel committee to probe the scam.

"Let's deal with this issue from a new approach if the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) fails to take the investigation to a logical conclusion within the stipulated time or if there is any case of ill intention during the investigation," he said.

The CIB has been entrusted with the responsibility to further investigate the smuggling case since last Sunday after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' directed the Department of Revenue Investigation to give the responsibility to the CIB.

Shrestha pledged to take this scam to a logical conclusion with positive attitude and support from all sides.

On another case of gold smuggling in electric cigarette, DPM Shrestha assured that the culprits would be brought to justice. "It is imperative to review overall security management at Tribhuvan International Airport to prevent sure such illegal activities. To overhaul the security system in the Airport, a new policy, decisions and action-plans should be put in place" he asserted.

On a different note, he hit out the investigation committee formed during the leadership of erstwhile Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The committee over 7,999 kg gold were smuggled into the country from 2070 BS to 2074 BS yet no smugglers could be traced and thereby the Committee had failed to find out the truth about the scam.

According to him, earlier the whole focus was laid on 33 kg smuggled gold yet there was no trace of smuggler. "Smuggling of gold continues unabated. It is estimated that over 155 kg of gold was smuggled recently. Nepal is being made a transit point for gold smuggling," he rued, expressing his concern that this would jeopardize national economy and security mechanism in Nepal besides negatively affecting neigbouring countries.

On a different note, DPM Shrestha said that the Supreme Court's recent order regarding the Lalita Niwas, Land Grab Scam had laid some basis for additional investigation.

The highest court of the country on last Sunday had ordered to investigate those directly involved in decision making level from the then Council of Ministers and those certifying the decisions to take it to the implementation level.

DPM Shrestha shared that the government had instructed the police to dig out the scam impartially and truthfully based on the facts and evidences and reach to the logical conclusion.

The CIB is investigating the scam where a total of 143 ropani of the Lalita Niwas land belonging to the government was embezzled from 2049 BS to 2069 BS with forgery.

DPM Shrestha assured that none found guilty in the scam would be spared even if the culprit belonged to his party. "Whoever is found guilty by the investigation will be prosecuted. No culprit is spared even if the culprit is related to the Maoist party" he said.

Stating that the government was cognizant of all the issues related to livelihood of public raised in the parliament, he said that preparation was afoot to declare Madhesh Province as the 'drought-affected zone' and address problems related to drinking water, irrigation and food in the province.

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Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha Deputy Prime Minister House of Representatives (HoR) Department of Revenue Investigation
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