The Morang District Court has remanded Senior Superintendent of Police Shyam Khatri, one of the suspects in the 33kg gold smuggling case, in judicial custody.
A single bench of district Judge Narayan Prasad Sharma ordered police custody of Khatri to probe if he was involved in the gold smuggling case.
SSP Khatri surrendered before the District Court
on Thursday. In his statement to the court, Khatri denied his role in the gold smuggling racket.Judge Sharma heard from SSP Karki shortly after he had surrendered. In the five-hour process, SSP Khatri said he had no knowledge of gold smuggling from the Tribhuvan International Airport and that he was not involved in the case.Khatri refuted charges that he was paid for aiding the gold smuggling racket.
Advocate Hem Raj Panta later argued in Khatri’s defence. The Nepal Police Headquarters had issued a circular to trace the absconding SSP.Earlier, a special probe committee headed by Home Ministry Joint-secretary Ishwor Raj Paudel had called for the process to issue an Interpol Red Notice against SSP Khatri after police could not locate him.
According to a family source, Khatri had been living in Dehradun, India. He was arrested in connection with the case of gold brought illegally from Dubai to the Tribhuvan International Airport on January 5, 2017. He was released on March 17, 2017 after posting a bail of Rs200,000 as demanded by Kathmandu District Court Judge Dipendra Adhikari.
Twenty-eight others accused in the case have already been sent to the Regional Prison, Jhumka.Khatri’s driver Bishnu Bahadur Khadka was released on Rs15,000 bail and body guard Ambar Bahadur Thapa on general date.
The District Attorney’s Office had filed a charge sheet against 63 suspects. Chudamani Upreti aka Gore, the alleged gold smuggling mastermind, is in judicial custody following the recording of his statements.