The government is mulling about handing over investigation of around 100 kilograms of gold brought from Hong Kong hidden inside brake shoes used in scooters and confiscated at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on July 18 to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal talked with Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Director General (DG) of the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) Nava Raj Dhungana, Nepal Police IGP Basanta Kunwar and CIB Chief Kiran Bajracharya about the issue on Thursday.
A police source told Setopati that discussion was held in the meeting about whether to hand over the case to the CIB or not. Formal decision to rope in the CIB has yet to be taken but the police have been insisting that it should get to investigate the case.
The DRI is currently handling the case as an offense of tax evasion. But the police officers have been arguing that the case of smuggling gold from Hong Kong to Nepal and then to India is not just a case of tax evasion, but also a case of organized and transnational crime.
The police source revealed that the case would be handed over to the CIB after the DRI prepares the file.
DRI DG Dhungana also acknowledged discussion about how to proceed investigations forward. "We held discussion yesterday. We have been instructed to see which laws are attracted and what kind of crime it is and move forward accordingly if it seems investigation needs to be done by the bodies concerned as per the laws concerned," Dhungana revealed. "We are studying and holding discussion about whether to involve the police in investigation or hand over the case to the police."
A total of 18 persons have been arrested in the case until now and one of them was released on guarantee Thursday.