Bhutanese refugees scam: 16 remanded to custody, two bailed

Dainik Nepal Jun 16, 2023 | 20:23

Kathmandu: The District Court, Kathmandu on Friday decided to remand 16 people to custody for further investigations into the fake Bhutanese refugees scam.

A bench of judge Prem Prasad Neupane ordered to send 16, out of 18 individuals officially alleged of their involvements in the scam, to custody until the case is settled.

Likewise, the court has ordered to release two: Tanka Gurung and Laxmi Maharjan on bail. Gurung has been asked to deposit the bail of Rs one million and Maharjan Rs 500 thousands, according to Kathmandu District Court’s information officer Deepak Dahal.

The District Attorney Office, Kathmandu on May 24, had filed a case against 18 accused at the court being based on the police reports over the scam which involved high-profile arrests.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, former Home Minister Balkrishna Khand, Nepal’s government secretary ( now suspended) Tek Narayan Pande, former Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s security advisor Dr Indrajeet Rai and Bhutanese refugee leader Teknath Rijal are among those facing charges of forgery, fraud and organised crime.

Additional three years of imprisonment has been demanded for those accused holding the public posts. Public prosecutors have demanded the recovery of Rs 288 million, the amount equivalent to they are alleged of amassing by promising various people to ensure their visa to the United States of America in the cover of Bhutanese refugees.

Other 12 alleged of having their involvement in the scam are absconding.


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