Nepal gold haul was its biggest ever

Featured South East Asia - July 11th, 2013

Nepal police Wednesday seized 35 kg of gold being smuggled from China to India, the largest haul ever by authorities.

Police discovered the 35 gold bars in a container truck at Tatopani, one of the busiest trading points between Nepal and China, located 120km north of the capital Kathmandu.

The shipment is believed to be worth $2 million on the black market and was bound for India, where demand for the precious metal is soaring.

Authorities said they trailed the truck following a tip off.

“We followed the vehicle from the Tibetan border for several hours and seized the gold which was hidden inside a container,” superintendent Uttam Kumar Karkee told AFP. Three suspects were arrested.

The seizure on Wednesday was the biggest ever by police in Nepal in an increasingly lucrative cross-border smuggling racket, authorities said.

Last month, police seized 16 kg of gold in Kathmandu from neighboring Tibet.

“We have found that a huge amount of gold is smuggled from Tibet to India via Nepal,” Nepal Police spokesman Nawaraj Silwal said.