#Fake Bhutanese Refugees Scam

Former home minister Khand to give statement today as well

Published On: May 16, 2023 10:35 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 16: Former Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand's statement is also going to be taken today as well. The District Public Prosecutor's Office Kathmandu has said that the statement will be taken today as well.

The statement with him, which was started on the issue of fake Bhutanese refugees scam, was stopped after he informed that he was not feeling well on Monday.

After the statement with Khand was stopped in the middle, the office started taking a statement from former Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, whose remand was extended by three days for investigating the case.

District Public Prosecutor's Office head, co-judge Achyut Mani Neupane said, "While taking the statement, former minister Khand said that he was not feeling well, then the statement with him was stopped."

The district attorney's office has already taken statements from 11 people accused of creating fake Bhutanese refugees and sending them to America.

Earlier on Sunday, a statement was taken from Mines Private Secretary Narendra KC and former Home Secretary Tek Narayan Pandey. 13 people including Khand Rayamajhi, Pandey and KC have been arrested in the incident so far. The three accused, for whom arrest warrants have been issued, are currently on the run.

The 12 people who were arrested before Sunday were given a four-day deadline by the court on Sunday for investigation. In the case of Rayamajhi, who was arrested on Sunday, the deadline has been extended by three days. The police arrested former home minister Bal Krishna Khan and his personal secretary Narendra KC on May 10 after being linked to the refugee scam. On May 2, security advisor of the then Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Dr Indrajit Rai and on May 3, the acting secretary (the then Home Secretary) Tek Narayan Pandey were arrested.

An arrest warrant was issued to Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and his son Sandeep Rayamajhi on May 3 for their involvement in the incident. Only Sandeep was arrested that day. After that, former Deputy Prime Minister Rayamajhi, who was on the run, was arrested by the police from Budhanilkantha in Kathmandu on Sunday.

On May 9, Ramsharan KC, a resident of Tokha, Kathmandu, and Gobind Chaudhary, a resident of Morang, were arrested. Before that, on March, Keshav Dulal, Sanu Bhandari, Tanka Gurung, Sandesh Sharma Pokharel, Sagar Thulung, who were considered to be the gang of the scam, were arrested. According to the police, the then Home Minister and Home Secretary were arrested based on their statements.

Dr Rai's son Niraj, who was arrested, and Prateek, son of then Home Minister and CPN-UML Vice Chairman Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’, whose arrest warrant was issued on Friday, are currently on the run.

106 victims filed 20 complaints against them in the refugee fraud case. They have alleged that they have cheated a total of Rs 232.5 million. It is said that there are more victims in the incident. The police have claimed that the incident started from the year 2076 BS and since 2077 BS, there has been an organized fraud in collusion with the home authorities. The victims came to the police only after they were unable to go to the US as refugees. Last May, the victim filed a complaint at the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office.

However, after 10 months, the accused in the incident were arrested only in March, and based on their statements, the ministers and high-ranking government officials who were involved in the incident were also arrested. It is said that the police are still trying to gather evidence about some other high-ranking officials.

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