Recent news from the Tatopani customs office, one of the highest revenue earning ports in Nepal, suggests that millions of rupees have been embezzled there. It is understood that Bishnu Khatri, chairman of Himalayan Border Organisation is involved in misappropriating revenue. Instead of Rs 10 million charged for goods brought into Kathmandu, Khatri turned over only one million rupees to the government. A highly placed source tells us that over Rs 4 million went to important politicians to keep the deal under wraps, and Khatri pocketed the remaining Rs 5 million. Once revenue officers place the seal on goods at the border, the shipment is not allowed to be opened again until it reaches its destination, where it will be unsealed by revenue officers. Khatri is using this provision to misappropriate revenue. If the government had given the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority the power to inspect the goods, such misuse would not have happened.
Meanwhile, Khatri, also known for smuggling sandalwood, has abandoned smuggling through the Tatopani border and begun using a different route. News has it that he transports lots of sandalwood to a place called \'10 Kilo'. From there, when the time is right, he employs porters to carry the wood to a small bridge east of Kodari, over which it is smuggled into Tibet. He is said to have bribed custom and police officers, and re-uses the same document to take his goods across the border.