Nepal's ex-crown prince arrested in Thailand with marijuana

Nepal's ex-crown prince arrested in Thailand with marijuana
Nepal's ex-crown prince arrested in Thailand with marijuana
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Anil Giri (IANS) | The News Minute | July 15, 2014 | 05:24 pm IST

Kathmandu: Paras Shah, Nepal's former crown prince known for his flamboyant lifestyle, was arrested by Thai police on July 10 with 12 gm of marijuana, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Top diplomatic sources confirmed to IANS that Thai police had informed the Bangkok-based Nepal embassy the same day. Shah, 43, is still in custody and local Thai police have not shared much details with Nepali authorities regarding his arrest.

He was arrested from Hotel Debit on July 10 evening with the contraband marijuana. This is not the first time he was arrested by the Thai police on drug possession charges.

The Thai police also informed the Nepal embassy that he was presented at a local criminal court after being charged but declined to divulge details where he was kept.

When Nepal turned into a republic in 2008, Paras left for Singapore and stayed for a while there with his wife and three children. But his family returned to Nepal leaving him alone there.

Then he shifted to Bangkok where he was staying with his Thai girlfriend. His three children -- one son and two daughters -- along with wife Himani have been staying in Kathmandu. His wife comes from a princely family in India and is involved in social activities.

After he left for Singapore, his relations with his parents and relatives have been strained and he hardly visits Nepal to meet his family.

A survivor of serious heart attacks in 2007 in Kathmandu and in 2013 in Thailand, Paras used to be a chain smoker and is known for reckless drinking in the party circles of Kathmandu.

In the third week of February 2013, he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent treatment at the Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok and was discharged after a month. During the course of treatment, his parents, father Gynendra Shah, mother Komal, wife Himani and two of his children visited him.

Earlier, in the last week of November 2012, he was arrested by Thai police for possessing marijuana in Phuket. Later, he was released on bail.

Immediately after he was released, Thai police again arrested him for smashing property at a luxury hotel in Bangkok. He was released only after paying 120,000 baht ($3,730) to the building owner for the damage he had done.

Shah has a very controversial history at home and abroad and is known for his fights and disputes with others.

In 2010, he was arrested for firing at one of the relatives of former deputy prime minister Sujata Koirala in a local tourist area, Chitwan. He later secured release from jail citing a heart-related ailment.

In 2000, he was reported to have hit and killed a popular Nepalese singer with his car while under the influence of alcohol but he was never charged.

He is one of the survivors of the deadly royal massacre in 2001 when the entire family of the then King Birendra was killed at Narayanhity royal palace in Kathmandu.

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