KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Those foreign workers employed at Tiger Palace Resort in Rupandehi without getting work permit are preparing to flee the country as the government authority has shown reluctance to take action against them and their employer.
According to a source at the five-star resort, at least 17 out of 22 illegal foreign workers have secured their air tickets to leave Nepal on Wednesday after Republica revealed the Australia-based multinational company Silver Heritage Group employing foreigners at the casino of Tiger Palace without following due process. Though it was reported that five foreigners were employed at the casino without acquiring the work-permit, there are at least 22 foreigners who have been working at senior posts of the resort and casino. These workers, according to the source, had arrived Nepal on tourist visa to work as employees.
These foreigners have been drawing over $50,000 a month as their monthly compensation, according to the source. The Hong Kong office of the Silver Investment Group provides them the salary while the casino has been providing them all other perks and incentives here in the country.
As the legal status of the foreign expats came under scanner, they are secretly flying off as the authorities have delayed action against the illegal foreign workers. The management of the Tiger Palace Resort has hired foreigners to work in Nepal despite the opposition from the local investment partner of the resort. Local partner has sought the legal action against the illegal foreign workers, informing the labor authorities about the use of foreign workers without work permit. Silver Heritage Group is a company listed in Sydney Stock Exchange in Australia. The company has announced to invest Rs 10 billion in Nepal, with plans to increase it to up to Rs 30 billion.
Nepal’s laws require foreigners to acquire work permit before starting working in an organization in the country.
While the immigration officers have visited the resort for the monitoring of illegal employment of foreigners and collected their papers, the delay to arrest and deport them has provided them a leeway to flee the country without any action. Though 17 illegal foreign workers are preparing to flee, Kevin John Willcocks, the casino’s general manager who is from Australia, and another junior manager are still in Bhairahawa, according to the source.