Chinese national connected to 60 Kg gold smuggling has been arrested in India
A major suspect linked to a gold smuggling case involving 60 kilograms of gold hidden within scooter brake components has been captured in India.
The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) team intercepted a substantial amount of gold concealed within scooter brake shoes during an inspection at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on July 18.
The gold, skillfully hidden, went undetected by customs officials. This illicit gold, weighing an astounding 60.716 kilograms, was transported into Nepal via a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong.
The individual, a Chinese national named Yongxin Peng, also known as "Asin," fled to India after the gold was confiscated. According to Nepal Police's Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), Yongxin Peng was apprehended by India's Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) while attempting to cross into India through the Kharibari area of Siliguri in West Bengal, as reported by India Today on July 20.
In the course of the interrogation, Yongxin Peng presented a Nepali citizenship certificate obtained from the District Administration Office, Kavre.
However, authorities also found a Chinese passport and various other documents, raising suspicions of potential involvement in espionage, as reported by several Indian media outlets.
The CIB has received information that the Indian investigation into the Chinese national is ongoing. A source from the CIB stated, "It is not yet known whether he would be handed over to us as he is a Chinese national. We don’t even have those kinds of treaties. It is not easy to bring him."
Yongxin Peng is suspected to have overseen the smuggling operation's storage facility in Tokha and is believed to play a significant role in the gold smuggling network. He is considered an associate of Daojin Wang, who is seen as the mastermind behind the operation.
The CIB has completed its inquiries into the case and submitted the investigative report to the District Government Attorney’s Office in Kathmandu. A total of 50 individuals have been implicated in the case.
Out of the defendants, 32 have been arrested, including 23 Nepalis and nine foreigners. Meanwhile, 18 defendants are still at large, consisting of 14 foreigners and four Nepalis. Notably, Amala Rokka Magar, who has close connections to CPN (Maoist Center) leaders, is among the fugitive defendants. However, her husband, Dawa Tsering, a Belgian national, has been arrested and is considered a significant apprehension in the ongoing investigation.