KATHMANDU, May 15: Prominent civil society members and politicians have expressed concerns that ruling parties are attempting to dismiss the fake Bhutanese refugee scam.
At a discussion program on 'Human Trafficking and Fake Refugee Scam' organized by Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation in Lalitpur, they stressed the need for continuous civil vigilance to bring those involved in the human trafficking racket to justice.
Former Ambassador Nilambar Acharya argued that frequent meetings of the top leaders of the three major political parties have raised suspicions that the case involving human trafficking under the guise of Bhutanese refugees is being dismissed. Acharya claimed that human trafficking in the name of Bhutanese refugees is a crime against the state, and Nepal's honor and reputation will suffer if the ongoing investigation is not taken to its logical conclusion and the guilty parties are not brought to justice.
Former Chief Commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Surya Nath Upadhyay, commended the Nepal Police's investigation into the case of human trafficking. He stressed the importance of citizens being aware that such cases should not be covered up and warned that failure to take action against guilty parties, regardless of their position and power, could damage the nation's image.
Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) lawmaker, Dr Swarnim Wagle, warned that not only corruption, but also fraud involving powerful groups continues in Nepal. He emphasized that the particular case of human trafficking will harm Nepal's reputation in the world if it is not properly concluded. Dr Wagle also noted that changing regulations and policies to benefit certain groups and individuals has become common, and that the institutions established to prevent corruption have been compromised by political parties.
Independent lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh claimed that the human trafficking case reflects how middlemen are running the country and that political corruption has reached an alarming level. He suggested that there is only a place for middlemen in the country since the establishment of the republic one and a half decades ago. Singh also claimed that many leaders of political parties, high administrators, and businessmen have investments in real estate outside the country, including in the UAE.
Sushil Pyakurel, president of the Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation, warned that the country is heading towards a crisis due to extreme corruption. He stressed that the future of the country is at risk if such a network is not dismantled.