KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha assured that Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) will lead the 100kg gold smuggling case investigation and the alternative committee would be under consideration if CIB falters.
Minister Shrestha made this assertion in response to inquiries raised by Members of Parliament during the Tuesday session of the House of Representatives. The questions pertained not only to the gold smuggling issue but also to the ongoing Lalita Niwas land case.
Minister Shrestha, invoking a committee convened during the tenure of then Prime Minister KP Oli, recounted findings that indicated the illicit smuggling of a substantial quantity – estimated between 7,000 to 9,900 kilograms – of gold into the nation. This revelation underscores the depth and scope of the smuggling predicament, particularly at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), which has unwittingly evolved into a hub for cross-border gold trafficking.
The Home Minister firmly expressed that the authorities could no longer afford to remain passive, considering the escalating scale of these illegal activities. “We can’t keep silent now saying that it happened yesterday, too,” he emphasized, firmly committed to delivering justice to the culprits.
Moreover, he highlighted the shortcomings of prior investigative efforts, specifically referencing a previous parliamentary committee that failed to implement its findings, even in a case involving 33 kilograms of gold.
Minister Shrestha unveiled a crucial contingency plan, stating that if the CIB’s investigation doesn’t yield results within the stipulated 35 days, the government will not hesitate to initiate a high-level committee.
He underscored the importance of staying on course and not allowing the investigation’s progress to falter.