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Gold smuggling case : Bajeko Sekuwa 6 outlets sealed

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KATHMANDU — A special investigation committee formed to probe the 33-kilogram gold smuggling case has sealed six outlets of Bajeko Sekuwa in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

A special police team formed to look into gold smuggling raided the famous Nepali restaurant chain owned by Chetnath (Chetan) Bhandari and sealed six outlets.

There are total 10 outlets of the restaurant chain in the country. Among them, the team has sealed outlets located at Anamnagar, Sorhakhutte, Samakhushi, Battisputali, Kamalpokhari and Gairidhara, according to officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Owner of the Bajeko Sekuwa, Bhandari, who has been at large for several weeks, is said to be a relative of Chudamani Upreti aka Gorey — the main accused in the 33-kilogram gold smuggling case. Bhandari is being tried at the Morang District Court for his alleged connection with Gore.

The government had filed a case against Bhandari as a fugitive defendant in the gold racket case at the Morang District Court.

Home Ministry officials said one of the six sealed outlets is owned by Bhandari’s brother-in-law. The government, suspecting Bhandari’s involvement in the gold smuggling racket, had earlier suspended all his bank accounts and withheld properties registered under his name.

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Dolpa Ward Chairman held on charge of idol theft

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DOLPA — Karma Gurung, Chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality-5 in Upper Dolpa, was arrested on charge of idol theft from Kathmandu. A team of police personnel from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested Gurung from Bauddha in the capital city.

Police said that Ward Chairman Karma was held for allegedly stealing Buddha idols from Rahap Monastery situated in She-Phoksundo Rural Municipality-4.

Gurung, an independent candidate, was elected the ward chair in the recent local level elections but later joined the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after the unification of two communist parties.

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Likewise, Ukren Pasang Gurung, 41, and Pasang Lundup Gurung of She-phoksundo Rural Municipality; Jhyampachhuldim Lama, 41, and Tshering Dawa Gurung, 43, of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality were also held from a special team of CIB.

Asked about the arrest of ward chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dolpa District Police Office Awadesh Bista confirmed Karma Gurung’s arrest on charge of idol theft and added that further investigations were ongoing.

A total of 42 Buddha’s idols were stolen from Rahap Monastery some eight years ago but the locals had noticed the issue just some four months ago.

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