KATHMANDU, April 27: The National Central Bureau (NCB) of Nepal, on Friday, issued a red notice against Sudarshan Gautam who was convicted of trafficking in people from Nepal to the US. Gautam had hit stardom in Nepal after becoming the first person without hands to scale Mount Everest without prosthetics and then acting in a popular Nepali movie.
However, Gautam has been convicted of being the co-conspirator in human trafficking and in swindling three Nepalis in 2016 with promises to provide them safe passage to the US.
According to the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD), four of seven conspirators of the fraud including the mastermind Sagar Siris are serving jail term while Gautam has evaded arrest as he has a Canadian citizenship.
Officials from the NCB, Nepal, claimed that a red notice could not be issued in Interpol against Gautam following public pressure as he is a celebrity. “Even Gautam was handed a jail term on June 18, we could not issue a red notice following external pressure,” Office In-Charge (OIC) of NCB, Nepal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Umesh Raj Joshi told Republica, “After eight months of pressure, we finally issued the notice on Friday.”
Officials from the MPCD claimed that Gautam faces charges of human trafficking and fraud.“Gautam had been on the lam after a case was filed against him in 2017,” chief of the MPCD, SSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh told Republica, “The NCB has issued the red notice on our referral after Gautam was found in Canada.”
Gautam along with his six fellow co-conspirators had defrauded about five million rupees each from three Nepalis by promising them a safe passage to the US.
The trio was taken to New Delhi from where they were transported to various ports including one in Russia and finally taken to Haiti. From Haiti, they were supposed to be taken to the US but they were left stranded there.
One of the three victims, Sumitra died on the eighteenth day of the journey after falling ill. Her body was thrown into the ocean. The two others were rescued by Bahamas police and were repatriated to Nepal with the help of the Nepali embassy in the US.