Single biggest narcotics bust, Five held with 2‚640 kg hashish worth Rs 13.2 million

KATHMANDU: Nepal Police today rounded up five people, including three notorious racketeers, with 2,640 kg of crude hashish from Chalnakhel, Setidevi VDC.

Hasta Bahadur Rumba (29), Tirtha Bahadur Rai (30), Bire Lama (22), Chandra Bahadur Gole (21) and Kumar Lama (28) were members of a racket that collected raw materials for hashish from farmers in Makwanpur and refined them in Chalnakhel.

“The hashish is worth around Rs 13.2 million in the grey market,” said SP Sher Bahadur Basnet at the Narcotic Drug Control Law Enforcement.

The seizure is the biggest ever recorded in Nepal, said authorities. In March last year, authorities had seized 1,240 kg of hashish in Kathmandu, which was the biggest bust then.

Hasta Bahadur, Bire and Chandra Bahadur are learnt to be the brains behind the operation. They used to hoard hashish on the outskirts of the Valley and smuggle it into India and China.

“We had been keeping an eye on the trio for the past one year,” said SP Basnet. “We located the hideout of the traffickers. It is a seizure of historic proportions,” he said. Police have also seized two motorcycles from the racket. “The racketeers have confessed to shipping narcotics to India and China –– emerging international markets for hashish,” added Basnet. During interrogation, the arrestees told police they had contracts with marijuana farmers in 12 VDCs in Makwanpur.

The seizure suggests that illegal drug refineries still exist in the Valley, said officials. Only last month, police arrested an international drug kingpin operating a high-tech drug refinery in Sitapaila.THT

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