The Mint Division of Nepal Rastra Bank has started separating the gold that was smuggled concealed inside brake shoes of scooters before it was seized during a raid at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu last month.
The Mint Division started removing the gold from the brake shoes on Monday afternoon after receiving a letter from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police.
A team from the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) had confiscated a huge quantity of gold hidden inside brake shoes of scooters 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 on a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong. The brake shoes were imported by Ready Trade Pvt Ltd.
The seized goods were packed in eight boxes and sent to the Mint Division on July 20 to determine the actual weight of the gold.
According to Thaneshwar Acharya, chief of the Mint Division, each box contains 20 brake shoes.
Acharya said that they will first separate the gold from all the recovered brake shoes and then begin the process of melting the gold. According to Acharya, the gold’s quality can be determined after melting it.
“We will try to melt [the gold] by today or tomorrow to find out its quality. Its RC test result will also come after three days,” he said.
Acharya said that the gold weighing process will also be transparent as it will be carried out in the presence of representatives from the CIB, DRI, Mint Division, and Nepal Rastra Bank.
Here are some pictures taken on Monday.