KATHMANDU, Sept 23: Tashi Sherpa from Sankhuwasabha, who landed in the Philippines in an attempt to reach the United States illegally, has been stranded in the island for five months. Sherpa is desperately seeking help for his rescue after being expelled from his lodge after failing to pay the dues.
In a phone call with Republica, Sherpa disclosed that he had not consumed any food for an entire week, highlighting the direness of his situation. He has even released a video documenting his distressing circumstances.
"I desperately want to return home. I haven't had a proper meal in days, and I've resorted to drinking toilet water," Sherpa said, adding, "I've been sleeping on cold staircases. Hasta Gautam took my documents and USD 2400, along with NPR 3.5 million. I have nothing left except my own body."
The fraudulent agent, Hasta Gautam, had promised to smuggle Sherpa into the United States, at the expense of thousands of dollars. According to the Human Trafficking Investigation Bureau, a total of 13 individuals, including Sherpa, have been stranded in the Philippines after being duped by Gautam.
The bureau reported that Hasta Gautam, aka Mridul, a 52-year-old man who currently resides in Texas, USA and is originally from Rukum, was apprehended on September 6 from Belhia in Rupandehi. Kamal Tamang, another agent associated with Gautam, is also in police custody.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jeevan Shrestha at the bureau confirmed that they are working closely with concerned authorities to rescue the stranded Nepali citizens.
The situation underscores the urgency of addressing human trafficking and the desperate situation faced by individuals like Tashi Sherpa, who fall prey to such fraudulent schemes in their pursuit of better opportunities abroad.