RUKUM, July 17: Police have arrested two persons in possession of four kilograms of Yarshagumba, a prized fungal herb, worth Rs 10 million, in Khalanga, Rukum.
Lajim Roka, 22, of Pwang VDC-9, Rukum and Phatte Jung Malla, 32, of Jang VDC-6, Rukum have been arrested while they were ´illegally´ ferrying the herb, also known as Himalayan viagra for its aphrodisiac quality, to the capital.
Police said the duo were arrested as they did not take permission from concerned authorities and did not pay revenue for harvesting the herb, which costs Rs 2.4 million to Rs 2.5 million per kg in market this year.
Its price and demand have increased this year as a lesser amount of Yarschagumba was collected as the availability of the herb in highlands of western Nepal has been dwindling.
The arrests were made acting on a tip off, informed Kishan Singh Thapa, deputy superintendent of police of Rukum. The herb harvesters have to pay Rs 10,000 per kg at the district forest office and another Rs 2000 per kg at the district development committee.
The two along with the seized cache of the herb have been handed over to the district forest office this morning, police said. They were arrested Monday evening. Police have also said they are receiving phone calls from ´various levels´ for their release.