‘Singapore dream’ costs over Rs 100 million for 39 youths from various parts of Nepal

Published On: June 6, 2023 01:00 PM NPT By: Sabita Khadka

Sujan Acharya, who identified himself as a journalist, is accused of defrauding 39 youths from different districts in the name of sending them to Singapore and finding them lucrative jobs there. 

KATHMANDU, June 6: It has been revealed that Sujan Acharya, who claimed to be a journalist, deceived 39 youths from different districts by promising to take them to Singapore. Acharya enticed them with the dream of a prosperous life in Singapore. It is alleged that Acharya swindled a total of Rs 100 million from the victims.

According to the victims, Acharya, a permanent resident of Triyuga Municipality-10 in Udayapur, claimed to own a company in Singapore and guaranteed them employment with attractive salaries. Currently, Acharya resides in Singapore.

Acharya allegedly lured young people by promising them monthly earnings ranging from 3,000 to 4,800 Singapore dollars. The victims claim that Acharya collected sums varying from Rs 700,000 to Rs two million from each person at different times since 2079 BS.

During a press conference in Kathmandu on Monday, the victims stated that Acharya had deceived them by promising to send them to Singapore. They also alleged the involvement of Binu Shakya, believed to be Acharya's girlfriend, in the fraud.

Shakya, a well-known belly dancer from Bhaktapur, and Acharya's cousin brother, Srijan Niraula (20) from Bahradashi Rural Municipality-6 in Jhapa, are also accused of participating in the fraudulent activities. The victims claim that Acharya used Binu, Srijan, and others to extort money from them.

Anil Adhikari from Achham revealed that he had given Acharya 4.6 million rupees to facilitate his journey to Singapore. He met Acharya a year ago in Kathmandu, where Acharya assured him of a managerial position in a five-star hotel in Singapore, where Acharya claimed to own substantial shares.

Quoting Acharya's statement, Adhikari said, "The days of sorrow in Nepal are over. The days of happiness have arrived. Go to Singapore and become a millionaire." Initially skeptical, Adhikari believed Acharya's words after being taken to Singapore and being explained about the business opportunities.

It should be noted that Acharya had previously been arrested and released on charges of fraud and blackmail. In May of the previous year, Acharya and seven others were arrested for demanding Rs 70 million by repeatedly calling and threatening a victim.

Some victims were called to Singapore on a visit visa by Acharya, claiming that they needed to establish a "travel history." Anil Adhikari and Prem Saud from Achham, Paras Adhikari and Prakash BK from Kailali, Manoj Upreti, Abhishek Shrestha, and Amit Tamang from Jhapa even visited Singapore on a visit visa.

Similarly, Rishiman Tamang from Morang, Mahesh Tamang from Jhapa, Suman Dangal from Kathmandu, Anil Bhandari from Banke, and Govinda Puri from Dang also traveled to Singapore on a visit visa.

When the victims visited Acharya in Singapore on a visit visa, he presented himself as the owner of Singapore-based S Group Global Company. Paras Adhikari, one of the victims, stated, "He showed us fake and manipulated documents. At that time, we were unaware of the truth and believed in him."

Adhikari added, "Acharya claimed that his company was making substantial investments in the hospitality business and had shares in the five-star Vilandro Hotel in Singapore. He also claimed that a deal had been struck to purchase Nepali restaurants like Gorkha, Everest, and Himalayan for Rs 100 million."

According to the victims, once they reached Singapore, they were told that they needed to establish a "travel history." They were then instructed to return to Nepal and stay for two months, during which they would receive 2,000 dollars (1,000 Singapore dollars per month) for their expenses. After that, they would be able to return to Singapore and work comfortably.

Paras Adhikari said, "To achieve attractive earnings, we took out loans by mortgaging our land. Some of us sold family jewelry, some sold their land, and others took loans from cooperatives." Most victims claim that they deposited money in Binu Shakya's investment bank account in Nepal. They believe that she is currently hiding in Singapore with Acharya.

Srijan also received money from the victims, and he has been arrested by the police. Arrest warrants have been issued for Binu and Sujan as well. However, as Acharya has been boasting about giving money to political leaders, ministers, and even police chiefs in Nepal, the victims doubt that they will receive justice.

Interpol issues two arrest warrants against Acharya

Interpol has issued two arrest warrants against Acharya for fraud. The first arrest warrant was issued on April 9, and the second on May 26.

The victims have filed complaints against Acharya with various offices under the Foreign Employment Department and Nepal Police. Despite this, they wonder why Acharya has not been arrested.

The victims suspect that Acharya is being protected by powerful individuals and demand swift action against him to ensure justice.

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