A loader with the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), who was under investigation on the murder of Sanam Shakya in connection to disappearance of 33 kilogram of smuggled gold, has suspiciously committed suicide in police custody.
Police claimed Chaudhary hanged himself in the toilet with the trousers he was wearing on Thursday. Chaudhary was taken under control by the committee formed for investigation of Shakya’s murder and handed over to the Metropolitan Police Singha Durbar Circle for custody.
A police source talking to Setopati claimed Chaudhary, who had worked at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) as a loader for 30 years, may have committed suicide fearing his past crimes may be revealed during the investigation.
Chaudhary’s body has been sent to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) for autopsy.
Shakya from Urlabari, Morang, an alleged mule for gold smuggling, was murdered by smugglers after 33 kilograms of smuggled gold disappeared from the TIA in the third week of February.
The smugglers themselves informed the police after Shakya died due to their torture. A team from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) led by DSP Prajit KC then left for eastern Nepal.
The team then arrested Narendra Karki of Urlabari-7, who was also tortured along with Shakya, and Tek Raj Malla, driver of the jeep from where Shakya’s body was recovered, and claimed that the duo killed Shakya.
Relatives of the duo then complained with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) claiming the duo did not kill Shakya.
A probe committee subsequently formed by the Home Ministry under Joint Secretary Ishwore Raj Paudel has found role of police officers suspicious.
The Nepal Police headquarters on recommendation of the committee has removed the then CIB chief SSP Divesh Lohani, DSP Prajit KC and Sub-inspector Bal Krishna Sanjel from duty.
“We have found that the gold smugglers were in contact with a few CIB officers. There is relation between the gold smugglers and the murderers who killed the mule after the gold disappeared. We are investigating that,” a member of the probe committee told Setopati.
Chuda Mani Upreti aka Gore is the alleged ringleader of the smuggling racket that murdered mule Shakya after 33 kilogram of gold was lost.
The police have yet to arrest Uprety who was also involved in gold scam even in the past. But he got clean chit due to his connection with the then senior police officers.
Shakya was reportedly abducted with support of CIB officials after Uprety sought help in search of the lost gold. Shakya died due to torture by the smugglers who wanted to know about the lost gold.
The probe committee has arrested 21 persons including owner of RK Jewelers of New Road in connection to the murder of Shakya and gold smuggling.