April 13, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

As the seized 100 kg gold melted, it weighs much less

The Nepal Weekly
August 15, 2023

Nearly a month after the gold was seized from near the Kathmandu airport, the central bank started the melting process to determine the actual quantity of the yellow metal.

The actual weight of the gold seized last month is likely to be much less than the gross weight, which included motorcycle brake shoes and electric shavers, according to NRB officials.

On July 18, the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) seized the smuggled gold at Sinamangal, Kathmandu right after it got customs clearance without detection at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The gold, packed in eight sealed cartons, was then sent to the Mint Division of the central bank for weighing. The gross weight of the consignment seized was determined to be 155kg.

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police had requested the NRB to melt the seized gold to find out its actual weight. “The gold, weighed after removing the brake shoes, came to be around 60kg,” said an official at the Mint Division of the central bank. The bank started melting the yellow metal on Tuesday to determine its quality and actual weight.

The NRB officials said it might take a week to complete the process and find the gold’s actual weight. Earlier, the DRI had delayed asking the NRB to melt the gold. After the CIB took up the task of investigation, the police unit had urged the central bank to melt the precious metal.

Earlier, the gold was seized in wax-sealed packages and they were then kept safely at the Mint Division of the NRB. The smugglers had stashed the gold in other metal items to pass them off as regular merchandise.

CIB Chief Additional Inspector General of Police Kiran Bajracharya said as part of the investigation, the brake shoes were removed and the weight of seized gold was taken on Monday. “Representatives from NRB, CIB and DRI were present during the entire process,” according to Bajracharya.

The CIB raided the warehouse of Ready Trade, a private firm, at Sorhakhutte in Kathmandu and seized 66 boxes of motorcycle brake shoes. The DRI also raided the house of Rakesh Kumar Adukia, one of the prime suspects in the gold scam, as part of efforts to find the actual owners of the seized yellow metal. Later, on August 11, the immigration office at TIA arrested Rohan Adukiya, the son of Rakesh Adukiya.