With the arrest of Dawa Chhiring, 18th suspect in connection with the seizure of 100 kg gold smuggled out of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), investigating officials are hopeful that it has established some clue about the nexus about the smugglers and the politicians.
Chhiring, who holds Nepali and Belgian passport, is of Chinese origin and is married to a Nepali woman, Amala Roka who belongs to the Maoist party.
Roka is from Thawang in Rolpa and the Party sources said she belongs to the ‘martyrs’ family’ and is married to Chhiring. Chhiring and Amala own different kinds of business in Nepal, some in partnership with others.
The arrest of Chhiring from the Hotel Vienna in Thamal which he owns comes three years after his mysterious disappearance when he was being probed for running clandestine activities that included fleecing people through loan apps.
But soon after today’s arrest, Chhiring and his wife Amala’s picture with Barshaman Pun and his wife Onsari Gharti- influential leaders in the maoist hierarchy- went viral embarrassing Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ who has publicly stated that no one involved in the gold smuggling case would be spared.
The Pun couple has not said anything publicly but it is believed to have clarified to the PM that the photo being circulated was taken during the event when Amala who is from his village and a relative came home soon after her marriage with Dawa, as part of the social custom.
But coincidently, Pun’s proximity with the Chhiring couple follows revealing claim about the involvement of Krishan Bahadur Mahara –another senior Maoist leader in a different gold smuggling case in the past.
It has also been found during interrogation that Ready Trade, an import company, set up in the name of Dilip Bhujel, a laborer, was actually the handy work of Chhiring linking him with the July 19 gold smuggling case.
A senior police officer who refused to be identified said along with the interrogation of politicians under the radar of suspicion, some prominent business persons whose name has figured in the past will also be arrested soon.
A couple of them including Rakesh Kumar Adukia have already absconded but a proper warrant of arrest would be issued soon, he said.
100 kg gold that had been cleared out by the customs at the TIA on July 19 have been seized by the Department of Revenue Investigation and the authorities have so far raided more than half of dozen places including Hotel Vienna early in the morning today.