Nepal seeks help from India, China and Interpol in gold smuggling case

PM Dahal with the editors, Photo: PM secretariate

Kathmandu, 15 Aug:  Nepal has approached India and China to help in Nepal’s efforts to get at the bottom of the Gold smuggling case, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said.

In an interaction with journalists, PM Prachanda said it has also approached the Interpol for all assistance in its endeavor.

‘Apparently, gold comes from China and goes straight from the airport here to Delhi and we cannot get at the truth alone and find the culprits’, he said but chose not to divulge details at this moment.

Nepal’s Revenue Investigation Department had seized 100 Kg gold after it had been cleared by the customs department of the International airport on July 19 which was meant to be further smuggled to India.

He said Indian currency was being exchanged with Nepali currency at a rate lower than the official rate and it was being seen as an outcome of the massive gold smuggling.

PM Prachanda said while the gold smuggling was a trans-border phenomenon, it was equally concerned and determined to check massive corruption at home.

The PM spoke on various subjects, from gold smuggling to corruption, to internal political rifts.

He said some of the major cases were under investigation–so that the political system and the government gains the confidence of the people.

Throughout his two-hour long session with the Media, Prachanda kept accusing the main opposition and its leader K P Oli of some kind of complicity with corruption cases. ‘Why is the opposition not cooperating with the government in the probe and instead obstructing parliament which has to pass many important legislations?’, he asked.

He also showed his concern about the recent verdict of the Supreme Court that somehow sought probe into the role of two former prime ministers in a Lalita Niwas land scam in the midst of the probe. He said some former ministers and senior government officials were already in custody, but the SC verdict involving two former PMs is also a message against the sitting prime minister.

He said his visit to Delhi in June was a historic success as not only Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to have border disputes with Nepal
sorted out, India also agreed to purchase up to 10,000 MW electricity from Nepal .

‘Indian cabinet will be approving the understanding shortly and we will tell the people here through a major publicity event,’ the Prime Minister said.

But Dahal also revealed that Nepal will be signing separate pacts with China and set up two transmission lines along the Nepal China border when he goes there next month.

Dahal will be flying to China on a three day official visit beginning September 23 straight from New York where he will be addressing the UN General assembly on September 21.

He said he is scheduled to meet President Xi and the Prime Minister as well as other high ranking officials there. Setting up Cross border transmission line in Rasuwa and another at Kimathanka, both along the border as well as a hydro project will be agreed upon. In addition, construction of  Hilsa Surkhet road linking Nepal’s western and central part will also be cleared.

He said China is keen to promote the agriculture sector including setting up agro based industries which Nepal has taken positively.

Regarding the Belt and Road initiative, he said, Nepal will ideally want China to have a project completed under grant after which ‘we will go for other projects.’