The two are suspected of being involved in a dzee theft and for having in their possession counterfeit US dollars 

Crime: Nepalese police have arrested five people, including two Bhutanese citizens, for allegedly stealing several dzees and having in their possession USD 56,700 in counterfeit bills, according to a Nepalese police press release and Nepalese media reports.

The press release, posted on their Facebook page, says that the five people, two Bhutanese and three Indian citizens, were arrested after they robbed a dzee seller in Kathmandu.

According to the press release and a media report, the five had bound and gagged the dzee seller in a hotel room in Bouddha, Kathmandu and were attempting to leave the country by road. A police pursuit resulted in them being caught in Bhimpedi, Makwanpur, on Sunday.

Besides the counterfeit USD and 24 dzees, described as the rare “chungdzees, with eyes ranging from two to six, the group also had 100 fake dzees in their possession.

The two Bhutanese are identified as a D Dorji Lama, 38, and a Tshering Lama, 32, both from Phuentsholing.

Foreign ministry officials could not confirm whether the two are in fact Bhutanese citizens, as of yesterday.

The police press release also identifies the Indian citizens as Asit Soubo, 31, Narhi Ali, 38, and Saroj Gurung, 30. The three are reported to be from Silliguri.

It is also claimed in the press release that D Dorji Lama frequently travels to Nepal to both purchase and sell illegal goods.

The press release also claims that the mastermind behind the attempted dzee purchase is an Atisa Batiya, based in Thimphu who provided the counterfeit USD to D Dorji Lama to purchase the dzees from an Upendra Lamichane in Kathmandu.

However, Atisa Batiya then dispatched the remaining four to Kathmandu to safeguard the dzees.

Upendra Lamichane was supposed to have sold 15 dzees, on behalf of a clothes merchant, Naresh Agarwal, to D Dorji Lama for Nepalese rupees 20 million.

In case of a successful transaction, Atisya Batiya had assured to pay D Dorji Lama, 10 million, and the remaining three, 300,000 each. It is not mentioned what currency they would be paid in.

The dzees were apparently headed for Bhutan.

Nepalese police have sent the five to Kathmandu for legal action, while the dzees and USD are being inspected by relevant authorities to determine their authenticity.

Gyalsten K Dorji