Businessman Rohan Adukia and two Chinese nationals who were arrested on Friday in connection with the recent gold smuggling case have been released from custody.
According to Deputy Inspector General Kuber Kadayat, central spokesperson for Nepal Police, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) released Chinese nationals Li Jialin and Liu Fuyan on Saturday.
The Department of Immigration (DoI) had arrested the two from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Friday morning and handed them over to the CIB. They were scheduled to fly to China on a Himalaya Air flight at 9 AM. The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) had earlier requested the DoI to blacklist them.
They were released after they were not found to be involved in the gold smuggling case.
Businessman Adukia was also released on Saturday. The DoI had arrested him at the DRI’s request soon after his arrival from India on an Air Indigo flight on Friday afternoon. But he was freed after the DRI and the CIB refused to take him into custody.
Police said that there was no need to keep him in custody.
He has been released on the condition that he will appear before immigration authorities whenever summoned.
Rohan is the son of the absconding businessman Rakesh Adukia, who is one of the prime suspects in the gold smuggling case.
There are currently 17 people in CIB’s custody over their alleged involvement in the gold smuggling case. Customs agent was released on guarantee a few days ago as she is suffering from throat cancer and needs to undergo treatment.
The DRI had arrested Suresh Tamang, known as Naresh, on July 26 and Belgian national Dawa Tsering on July 30.
Three staffers of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Customs Office – Santosh Chand, Kumar Dhakal, and Saroj Shrestha – have also been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the scam. The Department of Customs had already suspended them citing negligence before the DRI arrested them.
Customs agents Yadav Shankar Parajuli and Sudarshan Gautam, Global Pvt Ltd promoter Pushkar Raj Bhatta, Krishna Shrestha, Rajan Shrestha, taxi driver Ashok Lama, customs agent Rajendra Rai, Ready Trade Pvt Ltd promoter Dilip Bhujel and his maternal uncle Ram Kumar Bhujel, Harka Raj Rai, Indian national Thapten Tsering and Chinese national Lin Zeqiang have also been arrested in the case.
The DRI was investigating them under the Revenue Leakage (Investigation and Control) Act. It has handed over the case to the CIB.
A DRI team had confiscated a huge quantity of gold during a cargo inspection on July 18 after it had passed undetected through the airport customs.
The gold, whose total weight is estimated to be nearly 100 kilograms, was brought hidden inside brake shoes for scooters on a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong. The brake shoes were imported by Ready Trade Pvt Ltd.
The seized goods have been sent to the Mint Division of Nepal Rastra Bank to determine the actual weight of the gold. But the gold has yet to be weighed.