Kathmandu: The arrest of Indians involved in smuggled gold in Nepal has increased in recent times with the police arresting at least eight of them from Kathmandu`s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) within a week.
The modus operandi is the same as all those arrested were smuggling gold from Gulf countries to India via Nepal, the police said.
Earlier, traders and smugglers used to use the Nepal-China border to smuggle gold to India.
Reportedly, at least 100 kg of gold is smuggled from Nepal to India on a daily basis when the price of precious yellow metal shoots up and and when an import shortfall hits the supply in the Indian market.
After Nepali authorities started tightening the Nepal-China route, police officers said that smugglers have started routing gold smuggling to India through the Gulf countries via Nepal.
On Monday midnight, airport authorities in Nepal arrested three Indians with five kg of gold from TIA. They had flown in to Kathamandu in a Fly Dubai flight. Those arrested were Laxmi Soni, 64, Mrij Man, 61, and Raj Kumar Soni,21, of Rajasthan.
The trio had hidden the yellow metal in three separate suitcases and were apprehended before they could come out of the airport, a police statement said.
While coming out of the airport, they were seen behaving oddly, which led police to follow them until the airport gate and apprehend them.
Airport authorities suspect that Indians are trying to smuggle gold to India through the Nepal-India border which is porous and easy to pass through.
Similarly, on Sunday and Saturday, five other Indian nationals were arrested from TIA with 12.357 kg of gold. They had smuggled the yellow metal from the Gulf and landed here via separate flights.
Pallikal Salavaden of Kerala was arrested with 2.357 kg of gold on Sunday after travelling on a Qatar Airways flight to Kathmandu.
Another Indian, Astaf Mahmood of Karnataka, was arrested the same day with three kg of gold.
On Saturday night, three Indians were arrested with six kg of gold. They have been identified as Abdul, 36, Safi Fijal, 41, and Rejji Anwar, 42, all three are from Kerala.
All the eight Indians are in police custody and investigations are underway, police said.