Police have arrested the Nepali driver of Chinese national Daojin Wang, the alleged mastermind behind recent cases of gold smuggling in Nepal.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has begun investigation against Daojin’s driver Lokendra Paudel after arresting him a few days ago.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Acharya at the CIB, Paudel was arrested from Kathmandu on Sunday in connection with the smuggling of nine kilograms of gold in December 2022.
Chinese national Li Hansong had smuggled 9 kg gold concealed in 730 e-cigarettes (vapes) in his luggage on a Fly Dubai flight to Kathmandu on December 25, 2022.
Customs officials had seized the goods during inspection. After learning about the gold hidden inside the vapes, customs officials had stolen the gold and sold it.
The CIB had arrested those who stole the gold but failed to nab the group behind the gold smuggling.
It had also identified the gold smuggling racket when submitting its investigation report, but it had not arrested any member of the racket.
Police have lately arrested two individuals during the CIB’s second round of investigations.
Investigations have shown that Daojin Wang had communicated with former speaker and CPN (Maoist Center) Vice-chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara, his son Rahul Mahara, and driver Lokendra Paudel.
Rahul and Paudel are currently in CIB’s custody, while former speaker Mahara was also questioned by the CIB recently.
After the vapes were seized by customs officials, the Mahara father-son duo and Paudel had contacted the customs office to get the goods released.
The CIB is investigating the case under organized crime.
Daojin Wang is linked to the smuggling of 9 kg gold in December 2022 and 60 kg gold in July.
CIB officials consider him to be the mastermind behind gold smuggling in Nepal. But the CIB has not made the absconding Daojin a defendant in its latest report.