Kathmandu: Police have so far detained eight people for an investigation against alleged fraud of millions of rupees, promising people to send the United States of America as the Bhutanese refugees.
Spokesperson for the Nepal Police, Deputy Inspector General Kuber Kadayat said a warrant has been issued against some more people and the police have been searching for them.
The District Police Rang, Kathmandu is looking after the case. So far 106 people from various districts filed 20 complaints at the range against alleged swindling of a total of 232.5 million, promising them to ensure their journey to the US as the Bhutanese refugees. As the Range said, though the figure of alleged victims is expected to be more than this, other people have not come into the police contact yet. Police continues investigations against the people who are named as the alleged offenders.
During the investigation, it has been revealed a nexus has been engaged in the fake Bhutanese refugees scam since 2077 BS. A first complaint against this was registered at the Crime Investigation Office last year. The main accused in the scam: Keshab Dulal, Sanu Bhandari and Tanka Gurung, were arrested on March 25, after ten months of the registration of the complaint. After some days, Sandesh Sharma Pokhrel and Sagar Thuling were apprehended.
Being based on their statements, the involvement of Home Ministry officials and the high political leadership in the scam was established, according to the Office’s preliminary investigation report.
The report and related documents were later handed to the Range by the Office for further investigations and undertake legal procedures over the case. The police on May 2 arrested Dr Indrajit Rai, the then political advisor to former Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and it followed the arrests of the then home secretary and incumbent secretary at the Office of the Vice President, Tek Narayan Pandey, and Sandeep Rayamajhi, son of former Energy Minister and the CPN (UML) incumbent secretary Top Bahadur Raymajhi.
Police have already confiscated a cheque issued by a group of people involved in the scam mentioning Sandeep as the payee. A warrant has been issued against UML secretary Rayamajhi and Dr Rai’s son Niraj as well. According to the police, Niraj is accused of receiving money from various hotels in Kathmandu.
Niraj received thousands of rupees in commissions at various hotels in Kathmandu, according to a police source. “Some other persons are also under investigations. They will get arrested after collecting evidences,” said a police officer involved in the investigations.
The racketeers are found to have made fake identity cards of Bhutanese refugees and related documents with the government logos addressed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been said.
They took between Rs 1.5 million and Rs 2 million each from their clients after making them fill out the forms. Their clients were those people aspiring to go to the United States, their relatives, friends and known persons.
They would convince their clients the process to send them to the US was under progress through a setting with high ranking officials at the Home Ministry and the committee relating to the resettlement of the Bhutanese refugees. In the process of manipulating the alleged victims, the group used to show various documents relating to the Home Ministry, the Labour Ministry and the committee.
They are accused of making alleged victims to visit various towns including Pathari, Belndangi, Biratnagar, Sauraha and Kathmandu in the name of collecting their biometrics.