TIA gold seizure unfolds Minister Mahara’s involvement with the case

KATHMANDU, Jan 10: The impounded 33kg gold worth 15 crore rupees at Tribhuvan International Airport on Poush 21 is unfolding one riddles one after another.

The sources have claimed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s involvement in the gold-smuggling case.

Minister Mahara, who sources believe to have channeled all setting for smuggling, was linked with the case after Gopal Shahi, who was arrested in the case near airport, told the police in a statement that he had already transrefed 300 kilogram gold illegally from the airport.However, It has not been identified who the gold belonged to.

According to sources, Minister Mahara had transferred TIA Customs Office Chief Narayan Sapkota at TIA two months ago to channel all the arrangements. It has also been revealed that Minister Mahara’s son, Nirmal Mahara ‘Atom’ and his personal secretary Netra Poudel to be its grand designer. Following the case, 29 officials from the airport were suspended in connection with the case.

As the gold was intercepted in Pingalsthan,of Kathmandu, near the airport, which was after being passed through the authority, the high level hands were suspected to have connection in bootlegging.

The CBI is preparing to file case against Gopal Shahi, Santosh Kafle and Dinbandhu Thapa under organized crime category. If proved guilty, they will be sentenced up to 15 years of imprisonment.

Also, Radio technician Bindu Kaji Maharjan, Stat officer Shree Narayan Yadav and Chief custom officer Tanka Paudyal have also been found to have hand in smuggling.

“Technician Maharjan would stay with the x-ray machine to authorize the gold, Shree Narayan Yadav would arrange police setting and Tanka Paudyal would handle link arrangement form custom department to Finance Ministry. The surveillance CC TV footage over three months period proves it” , the sources said.

The sources have also disclosed that Maharjan and Yadav were appointed against the Civil Service Act. The staffs say that Netra Poudel had canceled Maharjan’s transfer several times.

According to the weekly magazine ‘Dristi’ many ministers and governmental officers are involved in the case.