By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Mar. 28: Police have cracked down an illegal network of a gang that has been sending Nepali nationals to America identifying them as Bhutanese refugees.
The Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office has arrested Keshav Prasad Dulal of Morang, Sanu Bhandari of Mahalaxmi Municipality-4, Lalitpur, and Tanka Kumar Gurung of Panchthar for their involvement in the illegal act.
Organising a press conference on Monday, the Office made them public and revealed the details about the incident.
Somendra Singh Rathore, Superintendent of Police and Spokesperson for the Office, said that the gang members have been running the illegal racket since 2020 and the group so far had cheated 81 people, swindling more than Rs. 136.3 million.
SP Rathore said that the gang members were arrested from Dhapakhel area of Lalitpur on Sunday. The police have prepared a charge sheet under Section 249 of the Criminal (Code) Act. The arrested were handed over to the District Police Range, Kathmandu, for further investigation.
According to the police investigation, the group used to build a relation with people and later tempted them with the promise of sending them to USA under Bhutanese refugee status by filling out the forms.
The group has been charging from Rs. 1.5 to Rs. 2 million per person for helping send their families to that country as Bhutanese refugees.
"It has been revealed that all the persons who filled out the forms related to registration of Bhutanese refugees are Nepali citizens," said SP Rathore.
According to the police, the group would tell the victims that they have higher level connection with the government officials and even up to the officials of Refugee Committee.
"After they were not sent to go to America for a long time, the victims found out that they had been cheated, and instead of returning their money, the perpetrators threatened to kill them," said police.
Over 10 victims were found possessing the refugee identity cards and travel documents provided by the cheats and the documents were issued from the Ministry of Home Affairs using the government logo.
Further investigation is being conducted on the suspicion that the officials of the ministry and the members of the task force related to refugee problem were in collusion in the game of converting Nepalis citizens into Bhutanese refugees and sending them to America.