KATHMANDU: Plainclothes cops from the Central Investigation Bureau swooped on a restaurant in Bhaktapur and rounded up five alleged smugglers with rare artefacts made of ivory today.
The detainees are Gopal Khatiwada, 34, of Lalitpur and Jitendra Bhaile, 44, Rajendra Jhangju, 23, Suresh Maharjan, 19, and Rajan Sitikhu, 29, of Bhaktapur. SP Suresh Bikram Shah said the CIB team raided Khwap Garden Restaurant, Bhaktapur-17, acting on intelligence inputs that they were dealing in artefacts made of ivory. “It led to the arrest of five suspects with an idol of Lord Krishna, an idol of goddess Laxmi and an ivory-studded silver bracelet. The idols made of ivory weigh 784 grams and 745 grams, “ he said.
CIB has launched a probe to ascertain the origin of the illegal artefacts and to establish if they were lifted from holy shrines and durbars. The detainees have been charged under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973.
In a separate operation, CIB arrested four persons with red panda skin in Kalimati. The arrestees are Rahul Tamang, 23, Madhusudan Lama, 21, of Okhaldhunga, Pemba Dorje Shrepa, 25, of Solukhumbu and Kumar Karki, 38, of Ramechhap. CITES Convention-1975 and the National Parks and Wild Life Conservation Act 2029 have listed the wild animal as an endangered species.