TIA smuggling scandal unveiled: committee reveals 138 kg gold smuggling network

Kathmandu: The investigation committee of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Customs Office has concluded its probe, uncovering a significant gold smuggling operation involving Min Bahadur Ghale and his associates. The committee revealed that a total of 138 kg of gold was smuggled, with 14 kg previously seized during the arrest of Chandra Ale on December 8.

Chandra Ale, arriving from Dubai, was apprehended by the TIA Customs Office with 14 kg of gold, leading to the arrest of Min Bahadur Ghale of Gorkha in the process.

The investigation committee, formed to delve into the incident, found that Min Bahadur Ghale had orchestrated gold smuggling arrangements in Nepal by contacting Ankit Agarwal in Dubai. The committee stated, “Repeatedly, Min Bahadur Ghale, Chandra Ale, and Krishna Kumar Shrestha successfully smuggled a total of 138 kg of gold through the airport in collusion with officials. Only 14 kg from Chandra Ale was seized during the last incident.”

The smuggling network involved Min Bahadur Ghale, Chandra Ale, and Krishna Kumar Shrestha bringing gold from Dubai, with Dan Bahadur Gurung (alias DB) facilitating arrangements at the airport.

The committee identified AC mechanic Radhakrishna Shrestha, office assistant Lek Bahadur Tamang, former contract employee Ramesh Deula, office assistant Anil Shrestha, and plumber Sher Bahadur Basnet as individuals involved in transporting gold from the airport.

Ramesh Deula, Radhakrishna Shrestha, and Anil Shrestha were responsible for delivering the smuggled gold to DB Gurung’s residence in Suryadarshan Height, Tokha Municipality, Baniyatar, Kathmandu. Min Bahadur Ghale and his associate Jeewan Gurung handled the transportation of gold to the location specified by Ankit Agrawal. The revelations expose a sophisticated and extensive network engaged in illicit activities within the airport’s customs operations.