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The story of a ‘victim’ of the airport gold scandal – when the man who caught the gold went to jail

My brother is a very good administrator. Hard-tempered ‘bosses’, sometimes in Dhankuta, sometimes in Nepalgunj. Wherever my brother went, Sailo Bhai went there to study with his brother. In the year 2019, Dai Makkar Bahadur Bantawa from Nepalgunj was promoted to District Commander and went to Baglung, the headquarters of Dhaulagiri Zone. He is Makkar Bahadur’s younger brother, Pratap Kumar Bantawa.

Born on 17th of Mansir 1900, Pratap returned to Bhojpur and completed his SLC Bhojpur in 2021. Brother administrator. Pratap joined the police service on 31st Baisakh 2024 from the post of Police Assistant Inspector (SAI). Five years later, in the year 2029, he became K.M.U. Promoted to inspector. In the year 2033, K. Mu. Got the responsibility of Inspector (Police Inspector) from Inspector.

Pratap led 151 people (one dafa) at the Biratnagar Police Training Center. At the end of 2039, he was given the security responsibility of Tribhuvan International Airport with 151 people under his command. At that time the Inspector General of Police (IGP) was DB Lama.

He was promoted while staying at Tribhuvan International Airport from 2039 to 2041. He became DSP. Meanwhile, he suffered a lot because of gold. He seemed excited to tell an even more interesting story about how he got retired from SP after falling into this vicious cycle. How can ‘a quintal of gold’ penetrate? Pratap’s book is on the line. The story of gold experienced by Pratap in detail:

The story of gold

At Dholahiti Heights in Lalitpur, there is a typical Chinese brick house. The sound of national/international flight airplanes is loud. Because, most of the time, the landing of the ship is done by splashing the Bhattedanda of Lalipur. He has carefully listened/read the news of one quintal gold scandal in this one week. Now, while reading the news, he remembers the 7 kg of gold caught in the year 2041, which was the largest quantity at that time.

Bantava started talking, ‘Listen, Hai! It is customary for whoever catches the sun to write down the name of the relative and eat the commission of the suraki. I didn’t know that.’ he said.

It was March 2041, I forgot the date. The Thai Airlines flight was scheduled to arrive at 1:30 p.m. The office got a call around 10 am. Today, one Nepali and one Indian citizen are coming from Thai Air carrying 14 kg of gold. It’s up to you to take it or leave it.’

I will keep your name secret, rather than say, the caller didn’t say your name. I didn’t say the name as much as I would keep it a secret. To this day, I still wonder who that Suraki is. There was no time when call details came like now,” says Bantawa. “After that phone call, the incidents I experienced in the police service are still fresh.

Pratap Kumar Bantwa
Pratap Kumar Bantwa

He went on to say, ‘Thai Air landed at 1:30 p.m. All the passengers got off. The passengers got down from the trolley and got out. The Surakis on duty kept giving me information. A man with a Mongolian face caught my eye. He is wearing a jacket. Passed the gate with difficulty. I followed him left and right to see where he was going. He got into a private car outside. I had already written the car number. I quickly went and stood in front of the car. You have started the car.

Dumsi’s eyes met in the night light as the driver kept looking at me. I also asked that passenger to get out without blinking an eye. don’t agree He pulled out his pistol and said, “Let’s shoot” and then the car started off. At that time, the boys grabbed the passenger from the car. His jacket is heavy. That person doesn’t talk. It came with 7 kg gold biscuits made of jacket sleeves and goji. I immediately called the police headquarters and IGP DB Lama and informed them.

A DSP, a revenue representative from the headquarters came and asked. They said to Bantawa, “The commission is coming, write down the names.” Bantawa has written the names of 6 people, including Sipahi, Haldwar, Asai, for the commission. Bantawa has reached there with gold and bond to submit the gold to the revenue investigation department and to investigate. Thank you! The boss said, Bantawa remembers.

After a few days, the commission came in the name of 6 people at the rate of 80 thousand rupees. In coordination with the police headquarters, it was decided to give half of that amount to the school run by the police fund. Paltan cut half of the rice and had a feast. At that time, the customs chief was Hemraj Gyawali (founding president of Kantipur and Nagarik Dainik). After a week, the banter started, ‘Now you (Bantwa) will be punished.’

Bantawa remembers – ‘The broker was bound to make noise. Even the porters, drivers started saying that action will be taken now, the employees and the police together ate 7 kg of gold. The same kind of news started appearing in newspapers and magazines as well. Newspapers started writing that 7 kilos of gold were caught, they even printed my photo. After a few days, they started writing news with rumors that action will be taken. I will investigate, where did you go? Nothing happened to the person who was arrested.

Sun’s story got deeper and deeper.

Rishikumar Pandey was the secretary of the palace. Bantawa got a call from the palace in the evening.

I, Rishikumar Pandey, spoke as the secretary from the palace. I will come to my residence tomorrow morning.

I woke up early in the morning and reached the gate of Rishikumar’s house. I informed that I came through the security guard of the gate.

The gatekeeper sat down on a chair on the ground floor. Rishikumar came in royal style. Pratap Bantawa stood up and saluted. Rishikumar shook his head and asked –

Not yours

What is it?’

“Pratap Kumar Bantawa.”

“Where are you now?”

“Airport.”

“What’s the news now?”

‘Okay sir. Those who smuggle will do it, those who don’t will not. It was difficult to last.

“Um.. I’ll do well.”

Rishikumar snorted for a moment and made another proposal.

My parents built this palace. I grew up. You had to sell it.

A low-level policeman like me would buy such a big palace from whom, sir? Please, I can’t.

Rishikumar said a little aggressively, ‘No matter how many buyers there are, you have a good relationship with the Lahures. You will find people who can buy 10 such palaces.

“Whoever buys buys, how can I contact you sir?”

The conversation is over. When he got up, Rishikumar ordered with his eyes fixed on his face, ‘Cigarettes and whiskey to be sent.’

It was around 9:30 p.m. Pratap came to the airport duty with a feeling of surprise on the way. A few days later he sent a carton of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey to Rishikumar. A week later it was called again. He reached the area early in the morning. Rishikumar came down in a white kurta and pyjama. He asked in an upright manner, ‘The business of passing dollars through the airport and bringing in gold is going well, isn’t it? I will get news.

Bantawa said in reply, “Well sir, I have stopped as long as my intellect can.” However, those who steal have a thousand stakes.

It is said that the work of watching and checking has been loosened. How is the relationship with Bharat Gurung?’

He (Bharat Gurung) is the ADC of the Dhirendra government, I have become a security police officer. When the VIPs come, Dhirendra Sarkar appears with the ADC when he is traveling in the country/abroad, Mr.

“Um.. You, together with Bharat Gurung, pass dollars and smuggle gold from abroad?”

Not done, sir. If there is evidence, I am ready to take action. I became a small employee, nothing like that.

There is a lot of talk about your name being associated with Bharat Gurung.

“If there is such evidence, I am ready to be shot dead, sir.”

“What’s up with DB Lama?”

“The IGP is the head of the department, what else should I know?”

Rishikumar got a little angry and widened his eyes and said, ‘You idiots! He promotes his people carefully, and chases others, isn’t it?’

“How do I know such a thing sir”, Bantawa said in a humble voice.

Rishikumar said in a more upright voice, ‘What do you know about DB and Bharat’s relationship?’

“How do you know that I am a low-level employee, sir?”

Not knowing what? How much money did Bharat and DB earn?

I am leading the security system at the airport. How do you know about the head of the department?’

‘How many people are there?’

“136 people under my command.”

“There is so much, what do you see there every day?”

“Because of security, you have to look up and down, sir.”

They said, ‘Idiots don’t know anything, that’s it. How long have you been there?’

“It’s been eight months.”

Shaking his head, Rishikumar brought out the same thing again. “Um, what about selling my palace?”

A photograph of Pratap Kumar Bantwa at that time
A photograph of Pratap Kumar Bantwa at that time

Bantawa never said anything about the palace. But instead of scolding, he lied. Bantawa scolded Rishikumar and said, ‘Sir, I have spread rumors as far as I can, maybe the sale will happen.’

Rishikumar smiled and said, “Um, it is your responsibility to sell this palace.” It would be good if it was sold, I will report everything.

And the down days of Bantwa began

DB Lama retired as IGP. DSP Bantawa’s day started. He was transferred to Sudurpaschim Dipayal Police Training Center in November 2041 as he did not perform well at the airport. He was building the physical structure of the DIG’s quarters and the training center. On June 29, 2042, he suddenly left the headquarters.

“DB Lama was incompetent when he was IGP, he worked with Bharat Gurung to harm the nation. An investigation committee was formed to help smuggle dollars and smuggle gold from abroad. A committee was formed with a sitting judge (Bantawa could not remember the name), DIG Ran Bahadur Chand, Motilal Bohora. He was not aware of it.

After getting down from the airport, I reached my brother’s (Makkar Bahadur Bantawa) house and put the bag. I reached the headquarters gate. The sentry told him to go to Hanuman Door to meet DIG Ran Bahadur Sap. I reached there. DSP Sahveer Thapa (who later became the IGP of the Armed Police Force) informed that Ran Bahadursap was out of the office, Bantawa said, “it was 6 p.m. in the evening.” DIG Sap did not come. All of a sudden, Sahabeer gave the detention allowance!

“Since there was a report that you were involved in smuggling gold from abroad while you were at the airport, you will be detained from today to get the benefits of (b) category”, recalled Vyhora Bantawa of the arrest warrant.

“Thapa” snake, there was no need to act like this! It wouldn’t have mattered if I had been told beforehand.’

What to do snake, we also do not understand. The above order is like this.

Bantawa was taken to the training center from Hanuman door and locked in a room. They were not even allowed to call home. At night, Motilal Bohora came to sing. Bohora said ‘we had to have a conversation’.

Bantawa replied, “Don’t do all the tithes.”

“Don’t pretend, we have launched a campaign to punish DB and Bharat Gurung, the gangs involved in gold smuggling and passing dollars. It needs your help. Nothing will happen to you.’

What do I know about a low-level employee? How did you ask the question?’, Bantawa asked on the contrary.

That time A

How do you say you didn’t know when you were sitting at the airport?’

You came knowingly to ask. Tell me what happened instead? I am the son of a poor man. I can’t do such a thing to eat two meals. Not even done”, Bantawa replied again.

You will jail DB and Bharat who do not understand anything. You do not believe that you are saved. What a nice person’, Bohora stood up and walked away. A DSP was also with him.

Two days later, a sentry said quietly, “DB has kept the IGPSAP in Thamel by arresting him.” Bharat Gurung has been arrested by the army and kept in the barracks.

Four days later he was taken to the police club. At 9 o’clock in the night, Bohora came and said again, “Bantawa brother, tell me what happened at the airport.”

Bantava gave the same answer. Bohora nodded and said, ‘It is completely negative. Now the situation has come to start the third degree (beating/torture in police language). And when the soldier made a bamboo spear and was about to hit his leg, the whole body felt electric.

“No mistake, shoot instead”, said Bantawa, unable to bear the torture.

While in Bhaktapur, Bantawa had a good relationship with another DIG, Rudra Bahadur Pandey. “Brother, tell me what’s the news,” said Pandey. Bantawa gave the same statement to Chand, Bohora to Pandey. While walking, Pandey said, “I will not come with you anymore, but go to the bull’s fight, the calf’s fight”.

DB Lama was later kept in Babar Mahal. Lama and Bantaw were met and statements were taken. The same thing happened there. After the police did not investigate, the Royal Nepali Army was requested.

DB Lama, Bharat Gurung and Bantawa were taken to the camp of Cablari (horse-tying stables) in Singha Durbar. The army gave beatings and torture. “Hey Bantava Bhai Bhan, why are you hiding?” said Brigadier Garud Shamsher Jabara at that time. Bantava was well acquainted with Garuda. Their relationship was formed when the king was riding in the far west Dipayal. However, in the camp of Singha Darbar, he forgot that relationship and continued to question.

After investigation by the police and army, Bantawa was sentenced to 8 years, DB Lama 10 years, Bharat Gurung 25 years and a person named Panch Gurung 2 years in prison at the end of 2042. In 2045, when he was serving imprisonment for 3 and a half years, the Supreme Court gave a verdict in favor of Pratap Kumar Bantawa.

It is wrong to imprison a civilian by an army court of inquiry against the law. The order came that he (DSP Pratap Kumar Bantawa) will be released immediately so that he will get the service facilities and promotion that he has been denied so far.

After his release, Bantawa went to appear at the police headquarters with the court order. Bohora was the IGP. The IGP said, “Congratulations, brother.” On the same day, he was made in charge of the work department. Later, during the time of IGP Achyutakrishna Kharel, he was promoted to SP and moved to Bantawa in Parasi. He retired in 2057.

Even now, he shuddered to remember the three days.

The seven kilos of gold I caught was a big event at that time. Half a kilo of gold, chocolates, cans of juice, how much was taken. Who is the merchant of seven kilos of gold? The investigation never took place. I don’t know how the porter got out. It is never said who owned it. So far I have not found the owner of that seven kilos. But I met only torture and defamation.

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