Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

1.165 kg gold hidden inside coffee maker seized in TIA


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 29: A man has been arrested from the Tribhuvan International Airport Tuesday with 1.165 kilograms of gold hidden inside a coffee maker.
The Metropolitan Police Airport Security Office identified the individual as Padam Pariyar, a permanent resident of Gorkha. Pariyar had arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) via Himalaya Airlines.
“Pariyar was found suspicious when he arrived at the airport so he was kept under surveillance. The gold was then found when Pariyar’s belongings were checked at the X-ray machine of the customs,” read a statement by the Metropolitan Police Airport Security Office. As per the officials at the TIA Customs, the X-ray machine showed visual cues about the materials inside the coffee maker which led them to look inside it.
“After looking through the X-ray machine, we also found that the coffee maker was a little heavier than usual.
When we looked inside the coffee maker, we found gold which was moulded in circular shape and wrapped by iron from two sides,” said Laxmi Prasad Niraula, chief at the TIA Customs.
The iron was used to wrap the gold in a bid to make it undetectable. In many cases of smuggled gold confiscation at the TIA, the yellow metal has been found to be hidden by wrapping it with metals like copper and aluminium.
In April 2021, 884 grams of gold hidden inside a rice cooker was seized from the TIA. The rice cooker belonged to Pragesh Mahara, who arrived in Nepal from the UAE via Fly Dubai.
However, after the arrests authorities are at a dead end since the passengers arrested with gold are not always the smugglers.
“During investigation, arrested individuals stated that they were handed over the item, from which the gold is confiscated, by someone requesting them of handing it over to someone in Kathmandu and they were unaware of the hidden gold,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajesh Nath Bastola.
SSP Bastola, who is also the chief at Metropolitan Police Airport Security Office, further added, “Pariyar was also found to be in contact with someone in WhatsApp but the phone number was of the UAE. We are investigating Pariyar’s involvement in smuggling.”
Nevertheless, SSP Bastola informed that they have arrested another individual for involvement in smuggling. “The gold brought by Pariyar was to be handed to someone and we arrested that individual during a special operation.”
The authorities have not revealed the identity of the individual yet. As per SSP Bastola, gold smuggling has a long-chain and it is difficult to find the head but they are investigating to reach the furthest.
Only 50 grams worth of gold jewellery is allowed to be brought legally via TIA.