TIA’s only café in sterile zone has been shut after owner was held with undeclared foreign currencies

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Apr 10, 2019-

The security committee of the Tribhuvan International Airport on Monday sealed the only café in the sterile zone of the airport. The café was owned by Subash Shrestha.

The Metropolitan Police Airport Security Office had on Friday arrested Shrestha as he carried with him a huge amount of undeclared foreign currencies. He was arrested while he was on boarding gate number 5 in the sterile zone of the airport, about to fly to Bangkok with his wife and children.

Shrestha was arrested with 22,150 Thai baht, 1,380 euros, $10,000 and 80,000 Chinese yuan.

A meeting of the security committee of the airport on Monday decided to seal the café.

“Shrestha was arrested with a large amount of foreign currency following which the security committee decided to seal his café,” Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of the Tribhuvan International Airport, told the Post. Chhetri is also a member of the security committee.

According to Chhetri, Shrestha had entered the sterile zone unchecked with the help of the airport pass provided to him as the owner of the only eatery at the airport’s sterile zone.

According to airport officials, the sealing of Shrestha’s café in the sterile zone will affect passengers, as it was the only eatery catering to passengers. Once passengers enter the sterile zone, they are not allowed to return to the check-in area until and unless there is an emergency.

In order to minimise the effects of the closure of the café on passengers, airport officials are deliberating measures to allow passengers to enter the sterile zone only 45 minutes prior to take-off. “We do not know when Shrestha’s café will be unsealed and open for business because Shrestha is currently being investigated by the department of revenue investigation,” said Chhetri.

Meanwhile, the department of revenue investigation has released Shrestha on bail of Rs2.7 million on Tuesday, but have said that the investigation will continue.

Published: 11-04-2019 07:00

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