CIB arrests senior Maoist leader Mahara in gold smuggling case, and Forbes billionaire Chaudhary to be interrogated in ‘land scam’

Kathmandu, 18 March: The Central Investigation Bureau today arrested senior Maoist leader and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara in connection with the gold smuggling case.

Mahara was arrested on his way to Dang from Bhairahawa in the morning, and then flown to Kathmandu.

He was driven straight to the CIB office from the airport. Mahara’s arrest follows stern instruction of Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane to arrest every one named in the report of the official investigation committee that was formed to go into depth of organised gold smuggling from Tribhuvan International Airport.

The government had formed the committee under pressure from the media as well as opposition parties after 61 kg gold that had been ‘cleared’ by the TIA customs, but apprehended by the police from Sinamangal area, nearly two km away from the airport.

Mahara’s arrest follows the arrest of Dipesh Pun, another Maoist leader and son of former vice President Nanda Kishore Pun.

Meanwhile, Lamichhane is believed to have instructed Shyam Gyawali who he handpicked soon after he assumed charge of Home Ministry to head the premier investigating agency, to arrest Vinod Chauidhary, country’s only Forbes Billionaire, in connection with ‘illegal’ transfer of government land in the family property.