Gangtok Five foreign nationals were caught with precious stones from a local hotel in Gangtok on Sunday. One of them, however, is a Taiwanese national with OCI card.

The others have been identified as a 52-year-old from Nepal, a 49-year-old Tibetan of Chinese nationality with Aadhar card, 48-year-old Tibetan with an Aadhar card from Tibetan Refugee camp in Karnataka, and 50-year-old Tibetan of Chinese nationality staying in Darjeeling, North Bengal.

Since December 1, Sikkim has implemented embargo on foreigners amidst Omicron scare with the Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay specifically highlighting how the embargo is also in place for foreign nationals from neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan. Inner Line Permit, Restricted Area Permit and Protected Area Permit have not been issued for foreigners since December 1.

“We have registered a case and five people have been arrested and the case is under section 14 Foreigner’s Act. We have also included a case of criminal conspiracy (120 b) under the Indian Penal Code”, Superintendent of Police (East) Siva Prasad Yellasiri, told EastMojo.

The group were found with cash money over Rs. 1 lakh each and precious gems.

“They have been staying here since November 26 and may have made the money in casinos. But we are looking at the violation of ILP rules in this case. The five individuals will be produced in Court today and we’ll see if they need to be deported. We will be taking remand and then we will take them to judicial custody in the next 5 days,” the SP said.

Foreign nationals mostly from Nepal come without ILP for the casinos. “So far we have not found dangerous activity, as it’s mostly for gambling and precious artefacts and stones. They may be expensive in other Buddhist countries, there may be a market somewhere for them. But we have not been able to find the market here in India but maybe in East Asian countries. They may be smuggling,” the SP said.

Also read: Sikkim: 65 inmates, prison staffers among 76 new COVID patients

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