KATHMANDU: In a significant development related to the smuggling case involving 9 kilograms of gold concealed within electronic cigarettes (vapes), the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the police conducted a raid on the residence of Daojin Wang, the primary operative within the gold smuggling syndicate, located in Sitapaila.
During the operation, the CIB seized various documents and materials, indicating progress in the ongoing investigation.
Furthermore, a secured locker was retrieved from Wang’s residence. Upon opening the locker at the CIB headquarters on Monday, it was found to be empty.
Speculation surrounds the purpose of the locker, with suggestions that it may have been intended to hide gold or other valuable items.
However, it is believed that Wang, who had fled to China following the initiation of the gold smuggling investigation, might have concealed crucial materials, possibly including gold, before his departure.
It may be noted that Tribhuvan International Airport Customs Office intercepted 730 e-cigarettes (vapes) bundled in 73 packages within two suitcases during a routine inspection.
Initially, the smugglers attempted to dispose of the vapes, but upon discovering gold concealed within, they conspired with customs officer Rewant Khadka to sell the gold.
Once this illicit gold trade came to light, the Chief Customs Administrator promptly reported the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CIB) for further inquiry.
Based on the CIB’s extensive 60-day investigation into organized criminal activities, a case was filed in the Kathmandu District Court.
Notably, the inquiry uncovered the involvement of Maoist leader and former speaker, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, in the case.
Mahara was found to have exerted pressure to secure the release of the gold-laden vapes, while his son, Rahul Mahara, was closely associated with Wang, a Chinese national.
Subsequently, CIB apprehended Rahul due to his connections in the case. Currently, Rahul remains in police custody under increasing scrutiny.