Human trafficking 'kingpin' Gurung finally deported to Nepal

Published On: May 26, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

KATHMANDU, May 26: After a series of failed attempts to yet again lure Thai police into releasing him, alleged notorious human trafficking racket operator Prashu Ram Gurung was finally deported back to Nepal on Saturday. He was arrested by Thai police at Nakhom Phanom-Nyonyat on the border of Thailand and Laos on March 27.

The Nepal chapter of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), NCB Nepal, had issued a diffusion notice against Gurung on June 3, 2015, following his repeated involvement in human trafficking.

Gurung, 38, who hails from Helaucha Rural Municipality-3, Bhojpur, faces accusations of running a human trafficking racket, luring people into investing huge sums of money for immigration to developed countries. While he has been repeatedly arrested by Thai police, this is the first time that he has not been able to talk his way out of custody.

According to police sources, three cases have been registered at the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) against Gurung, with claims by 52 people that they were defrauded by him of a total of Rs 50 million . CIB said more than 200 people have already contacted the bureau with complaints of fraud by Gurung. Their complaints will be registered when the CIB office reopens on Sunday.

With the humongous sums that he defrauded with his false promises, Gurung lived an extravagant life in Thailand even after his Nepalese passport was scrapped by the Nepal government on July 3, 2015. “It has been learnt that Gurung was spending the millions he gained through his swindling on three Thai wives, each of whom had borne him a son ,” chief of the CIB Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Niraj Bahadur Shahi said at a press conference at the bureau on Saturday.

Even though the CIB remains closed on Saturdays a crowd of some 40 of Gurung's victims braved the scorching midday sun and gathered on cue at the premises of the CIB office in Maharajgunj on Saturday to finally confront him in the flesh. As police personnel accompanying him emerged from one of the rooms at the crime investigation body, the crowd sprang into action. Everyone sprinted towards the exit chanting angry words.

“You killed our hope, now return us our money,” one person shouted from the crowd. s

The notorious human trafficking racketeer had in one way or other swindled more than Rs 50 million from scores of people with hollow promises of ensuring their immigration to various countries.

Binita Tamang, a housewife from Manmaiju area in the capital, was one of Gurung's recent victims . She and her husband were a middle-class couple with two children and she first made contact with Gurung through his Facebook ID Adhiraj Thapa Magar. After quickly developing a rapport with the middle-aged woman as her religious mentor, Gurung moved into defraud mode.

“In May 2018, he sold my family dreams of a stable job and permanent residency in Canada. He even produced his Canadian permanent residence (PR) card ,” Tamang told Republica, “He also asked me to create a group of my relatives with whom I could set out for Canada.” The PR card he produced was fake. He is known to have fake PR cards of several countries .

Tamang's 16 member group was taken to Thailand purportedly on their way to Canada. “Gurung had intended to sell us in Thailand,” she said. Including Tamang's Rs 1.5 million, Gurung swindled as much as Rs 18.1 million from the group.

“Now, that he is back in Nepal, we demand compensation .” For Tamang, compensation is her last hope for redemption as her husband has lost all faith in her since the incident.

While Gurung is finally in the police net, his accomplishes Kishore Rai, 37, of Khotang and Abhishek Limbu Kerung, 24, of Panchthar are still at large. They are both on the Interpol wanted list.

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