Fake Bhutanese Refugee Scam

Police submit final investigation report to Public Prosecutor's Office

Published On: May 23, 2023 08:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 23: Police on Monday submitted its investigation report against those involved in the fake Bhutanese refugee scam to the District Public Prosecutor's Office.

Monday marked the 57th day since the police launched an investigation into the scam. The existing law stipulates that those investigated should be sued within 60 days of the beginning of the investigation.

Central Spokesperson of Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Kuber Kadayat said that the report recommended that a case of fraud, organized crime and crime against the State be registered against those found guilty in the scam.

The Office of the Public Prosecutor could, however, consider changes in the report, said DIG Kadayat, adding since there were prospects of investigating the case from the angle of money laundering and abuse of authority, the scammers could also attract the case on these charges. Police have so far arrested 16 people including former ministers and sitting government secretary on the charge of their involvement in sending people to the US identifying them as Bhutanese refugees.

Police have suggested the Office of the Public Prosecutor register cases against additional 16 to 17 accused in connection with the scam. The Public Prosecutor's Office will also proceed with the prosecution if need be, said Chief of the District Public Prosecutor's Office, Achyutmani Neupane.

Those arrested in this connection are former Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, former home minister Bal Krishna Khand, suspended secretary (former home secretary) Tek Narayan Pandey, former lawmaker Dr Indrajit Rai – security advisor to former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa – among others.

Similarly, others arrested in connection to the scam were refugee leader Teknath Rijal, Chairperson of Nepal Haj Committee, Samsher Minya, former lawmaker Angtawa Sherpa, personal secretary of the then home minister, Narendra KC, son of former Deputy Prime Minister Rayamajhi, Sandip Rayamajhi, Keshav Dulal, Sanu Bhandari, Sandesh Sharma, Sagar Rai, Tanka Gurung, Govind Chaudhary and Ram Sharan KC.

However, Pratik, son of former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, and Niraj, son of Indrajeet Rai, have been absconding. Meanwhile, a total of 22 complaints have been filed in relation to the fake Bhutanese refugees scam on behalf of the victims.

So far, 113 people have come in contact with the police saying that they are victims in the case of fake Bhutanese refugees scam. A total of 22 complaints have been registered on behalf of the victims, said District Police Range Kathmandu, Superintendent of Police (SP) Sitaram Rijal. The victims have alleged that more than Rs 270 million has been defrauded from them. 


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