HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: In an interesting turn of events, a high-level probe panel’s report on the October 5 arrest of an Indian national with illegal foreign currency on board a plane bound for Dubai has given a new twist to the entire episode. The probe panel under AIG Bhishma Prasai submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police Kuber Singh Rana today, suspecting the involvement of SSP Rabi Raj Shrestha, deputy security in-charge at the TIA, in the case and recommending his transfer to the Reserve Pool at the Nepal Police Headquarters to proceed with further investigation.
“Call Detail Records have found SSP Shrestha’s connection with Soni and other alleged smugglers,” the source said.
Earlier, the incident was blamed on security lapses at TIA and a nexus between head constable Shobhit Karki and Soni, the smuggler. Intererestingly, a CCTV footage provided to the panel shows Karki receiving notes wrapped in newspapers from Soni and taking them to a toilet at the Sterile Hall, where passenger screening ends, and Soni receiving it before boarding the plane.
The report has recommended that security arrangements and surveillance be stepped up at the TIA, besides giving an orientation training to the cops deputed there. The panel interrogated then TIA security in-charge DIG Narayan Prasad Bastakoti, SSP Shrestha and other officials entrusted with the task of checking contraband in the country’s only international airport. It could not grill Karki as he is at large.