Authorities in Kathmandu have named two Nepalese brothers who they claim are the international ringleaders of a sophisticated amphetamine supply chain whose tentacles have reached as far as Australia.
Bangkok-based Dharma Pakhrin Tamang, who Nepal Police says is aided by his younger brother Purna Pakhrin Tamang, have been supplying the pharmaceutical drug to a number of countries including Australia, reports said last week. It is understood the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police has been at their heels since it was tipped off by Australian authorities.
Dharma Pakhrin’s involvement in the smuggling of drugs into Australia was confirmed when in January police in Queensland arrested an Australian man for the importation of amphetamine from China. A Nepalese national was also arrested in relation to the same incident. Latest reports from Nepal confirm that his group sent the package from China.
NCB made its findings available to the media following arrest of 26 year old Netra Gurung and 21 year old Chitra Tamang, both from Dhading district of Nepal, on April 12. They were arrested from the Tribhuvan International Airport as they attempted to smuggle the drug into Nepal. Kathmandu Post reported that they were arrested with 302 grams of the drug worth NRs 9 million (approximately A$ 109,000) in the international market. Concealed inside toys and suitcase handles, the seized amphetamine was being brought into Nepal from Bangkok.
The Pakhrin Tamang brothers use Kathmandu as the hub to collect amphetamine, Nepal Police claimed. Once commercial quantities are amassed, they supply the drug to other countries. A senior Nepal Police officer told media that there is not much of a market for the drug in Nepal itself as it is expensive for the local drug users. To put things into perspective, one gram of the drug costs NRs 20,000 to NRs 30,000 in the international market.
Dharma Pakhrin Tamang’s younger brother Purna Pakhrin Tamang apparently used to help out his brother from Nepal until recently by preying on desperate men in Dhading, Makwanpur and Bara districts to find potential drug carriers. He would lure the impoverished men with lucrative incentives and ‘high income’ and then use them to carry the drug across Southeast Asian countries. But he left Nepal once he realised that he was being targeted by the NCB, vernacular media reports indicated.
According a Nepalese language newspaper, the Pakhrin Tamang brothers source their amphetamine from Myanmar and supply to various countries by using their ‘drug mules’.
Even Purna Pakhrin Tamang’s daughter reportedly is part of the crime network. Rajdhani said his daughter transported the drug by using a motorcycle with fake United Nations number plate.