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HomeEnglishFact Check: Hoax Claims PM Dahal's Daughter-in-law Arrested

Fact Check: Hoax Claims PM Dahal’s Daughter-in-law Arrested

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s daughter-in-law has been arrested in connection with the recent gold smuggling case.
Fact
Only a Belgian national with Chinese origin, who seems to have links with Maoist leaders, is among 18 arrested in the smuggling case.

A video claiming that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has been exposed after the arrest of his daughter-in-law in connection with the recent gold smuggling case is going viral on TikTok. The video further claims that Prime Minister Dahal concealed the evidence before handing over the investigation of the gold smuggling case to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police.

Earlier on the night of July 18, the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) seized a huge quantity of gold from Sinamangal area, Kathmandu after the consignment had slipped through the Tribhuvan International Airport customs. The gross weight of the yellow metal, concealed in the compartment of motorbike brake-shoes, was found to be 155kg.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @govindakafle92 posted a video purportedly showing an image of apparent investigation officials and a security officer alongside a vehicle. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Daughter-in-law of Prachanda has been arrested. She is the kingpin of the smuggling racket. See how Prachanda [PM Dahal] concealed the evidence in the gold smuggling case and handed over the probe responsibility to the CIB.” Audio accompanying the video says, “The revelation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s hideous deeds has sent shock waves across the political spectrum. PM Dahal has handed over the task of investigation to the CIB by hiding the evidence.”

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on August 6 has garnered 3454 likes, 120 users have shared it and 88 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker took a keyframe from the video and conducted reverse searches on google, Yandex and Bing but the search didn’t yield any appropriate results.

We, then, searched for news reports about the status of the gold smuggling case and the arrest of the individuals involved in the smuggling racket by using relevant keywords. We found an article published in the Kathmandu Post online which confirmed that the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI), which had been carrying out the investigation into the gold smuggling case, on August 6 handed over the responsibility to probe the case to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police.  

The report stated that a total of 18 persons have been arrested so far for their alleged role in the gold smuggling case. However, we couldn’t find any news reports or videos that corroborate the claim made in the viral video.

We found another news article published in My Republic online which confirmed the arrest of one Dawa Tsering, a Belgian citizen of Chinese origin, who apparently has links with Maoist Centre leaders. The report stated that Tsering had been seen in social media posts alongside the leaders of ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) including Vice Chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Deputy Secretary General Barshaman Pun, and former Vice Chairman Nanda Bahadur Pun. But the report only raised concerns about potential political interference in the ongoing investigation into the case in case any political connections were discovered.

Our investigation shows that Prime Minister Dahal’s daughter-in-law has not been arrested for her alleged role in the latest gold seizure case.

Conclusion

The viral claim saying that Prime Minister Dahal has been exposed after the arrest of his daughter-in-law in the gold smuggling case, and that he gave the responsibility to look into the case to CIB after concealing the evidence is false.

Result: False

Sources
The Kathmandu Post, 6 August, 2023
My Republic 31 July, 2023
The Himalayan Times, 6 August, 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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