Melamchi, Feb 12. Over 118 kilograms of gold was confiscated from the Tatopani point in Sindhupalchowk in the past six years while being imported through an illegal way.
A total of 118 kilos and 11 tola ( one tola is equivalent to 11.66 grams) and 93 lal( 100 lal is equivalent to one tola) was seized from the Tatopani point along the Nepal-China border in Sindhupalchowk in the past six years and it was later handed to the Tatopani Customs Office and to the Department of Revenue Investigation.
Before the 2015 April earthquake, Tatopani , the major trade point between Nepal and China, was largely used for gold smuggling, police investigation reports show. A group of gold smugglers was active in the district until the route was in operation before it was closed following the quake.
Tatopani is being as a transit route to smuggle gold from China to third countries and the smuggling is taking place in connivance of Nepali and Chinese nationals. Vegetable sacks, bus tyres and loaders are found being used for transporting the contraband. But so far only those hired for carrying the contraband have been arrested instead of real smugglers.
The year 2071 BS was the year when the largest amount of illegal gold was confiscated from the point in the past six years, according to District Police Office, Chautara’s Superintendent of Police, Mohan Prasad Pokhrel. Police had arrested 11 people along with illegal gold weighing 65 kilos six tola and 29 lal in that year.
With the closure of this route following the quake, smugglers have reportedly for alternative routes to pass the contraband to their destination.