Police raided a house in the capital New Road on Friday and arrested 15 players and 1.3 million rupees in cash.
Acting on a denunciation, a team of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police Circle, Janasewa, raided Ajaya Shrestha’s house in Ward 22 and arrested the players. Police also seized 32 pieces of cowry shells and five decks of cards used in gambling at the site.
“One person was injured while trying to escape. He is being treated at the Tribhuvan University Hospital in Maharajgunj, ”said Chief Superintendent Ashok Singh, head of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police.
According to Singh, several others managed to escape and were only able to stop 15.
Those arrested will be charged under the Gambling Act 1963, Singh told the Post.
By law, anyone arrested for gambling for the first time faces a fine of up to Rs 200, but repeat offenders can be jailed from one month to up to a year. Singh said they are investigating the players.
This is one of the biggest raids on gaming operations of recent times, according to Singh.
Each year, especially during the Tihar festival, Nepalese police carry out hundreds of raids on gambling dens, which are operated mostly in private homes and seize millions of rupees. But they hadn’t carried out any major raids lately as police are busy enforcing the Covid-19 ban orders that have been in place since April 29.
According to the Ranipokhari Metropolitan Police Office, since the imposition of the restraining orders, they have arrested more than 30 people in the Kathmandu Valley for gambling.
“Nepalese citizens are prohibited by law from visiting casinos for the purpose of gambling, so these players congregate in hotels and restaurants. But now, due to the banning orders, gambling dens are operated in private homes, ”said Chief Superintendent of Police Sushil Singh Rathour, spokesperson for the Ranipokhari Metropolitan Police Bureau.
“Currently, we are carrying out raids after receiving complaints. Sometimes we get complaints from family members of players and other times from neighbors, ”said Rathour.
Police assume gambling has flourished as most people are out of work or have free time due to the pandemic.
In April, the Metropolitan Crime Division arrested 11 individuals in a betting racket, which was operating in Kathmandu.
The racket was organizing illegal betting on several sports tournaments such as Indian Premier League, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, etc.
Police urged members of the public to immediately report if they have any information about gambling activities.