Police bust ‘billionaire’ drug dealer,Was operating high-tech hashish refinery in Sitapaila

KATHMANDU: Anti-drug unit of Nepal Police has uncovered a high-tech hashish refinery in the heart of the Capital city in the biggest achievement so far in the law enforcement agency’s fight against drug trafficking.

Devendra Bikram Rokka aka Devi has been found to be operating the high-tech drug refinery in a two-and-a-half-storey house spread over five ropanis in Sitapaila. The 53-year-old drugs dealer is said to have succeeded in expanding his business to Europe, America and Canada in the last one decade.

What is more startling is, said SSP Nawa Raj Silwal, Deputy Chief of Narcotic Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit, Rokka of Baglung had even created more than 500 employments in different layers to support his international drug network.

Rokka, who boasted a life of a billionaire, would run his drug business covered under Nepali quilts. He has been smuggling hashish in the facade of exporting Nepali quilts.

Police also rounded up three of his associates — Govinda Kumar Rokka (48) and Nagendra Thapa (30) of Baglung and Manajeet Gharti Magar (60) of Rukum — with 136 kg hashish ready for export to Goa via Birgunj customs point. The final destination of the consignment concealed in the folds of quilts packed in hard-paper cartons was Canada.

Police have established his immovable property to be worth over one billion rupees. “Besides a posh bungalow built on five ropanis of land, he owns seven ropanis of land in Sitapaila, one ropani of land in Ramkot, 21 ropanis of land in Naubise, Dhading and seven ropanis of land in Myagdi district,” SSP Silwal said.

Investigators during a raid on Rokka’s ‘drug factory’ have seized cheque books of 35 commercial banks and 12 ATM cards, four mobile phone sets, Rs 49,000 and INR 7,000 cash and electronic gadgets and tools used for refining and packaging hashish. “He even has bank accounts in Japan and Hong Kong. His bank balance in various banks in Nepal is to the tune of Rs 4 million,” said SSP Silwal.

SP Sher Bahadur Basnet said Rokka was working in tandem with international drug racketeers to smuggle ‘Nepal-made hashish’, which is in high demand in the international drug market.

Rokka’s wife Chandra and two daughters are said to be living in Canada and are under scanner for their possible involvement in aiding Rokka in his illegal business.

Rokka, an SLC graduate, seems to have acquired a taste for drugs when he was still at school, long before the Narcotic Drug (Control and Punishment) Act, 1976 was enacted. The drugs kingpin told police that in 1970, when he was only 11, he was involved in selling dope. “I used to sell cannabis and buy textbooks and notebooks from the money I made,” he said. He was arrested twice, in 1980 and 1986, for possessing drugs and was released after doing time for 45 days and four-and-a-half-months, respectively

.HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

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