Human trafficking and corruption case filed against 22, including 9 immigration officers

immigration-department-deported - immigration officer
Department of Immigration.

Kathmandu, February 2

A case has been filed in the District Court of Kathmandu against 22 individuals, including nine immigration officers, on charges of human trafficking through tourist visas.

Following investigations conducted by the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office and subsequently by the District Police Range in Kathmandu, a case has been registered for the offences of forgery of government documents and organised crime.

The individuals accused of aiding the group that sent youths to different countries on visit visas using fraudulent documents will also be investigated for corruption and money laundering.

District Attorney Sandesh Shrestha said a case has been filed in the court against 22. However, 12 people, including eight government officials are on the run.

Tara Bahadur Kunwar, presently employed at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, and previously serving as an immigration officer at the airport, along with Immigration Officers Kushal Baral, Shailendra Dhakal, Bimal Poudel, Bishnu Prasad Aryal, Bikas Dangol, Pitambar Rimal, and Sujan Fago Limbu, have been labelled as fugitives.

The Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office arrested immigration officer Narveer Khadka on November 12, 2023.

Officials involved in the investigation reveal that it has been uncovered that an intermediary facilitated sending youths to Gulf countries in collaboration with Narveer Khadka and Tara Bahadur Kunwar.

“Initially, Tara Bahadur Kunwar seems to have orchestrated the arrangement, but later, this task was taken over by Narveer,” said an officer involved in the investigation.

Manoj Tamang, one of those arrested and the owner of the travel agency, has confessed that he facilitated airport arrangements by paying money to two immigration officials.

In his statement included in the indictment filed in court, he mentioned, “I arranged the setting with Narveer Khadka and sent about 300 people. For this, I handed over Rs 10 million to him.”

He mentioned that Khadka then took care of arranging for the remaining employees. “How he managed I don’t know,” said Tamang on his statement.

Following Khadka’s statement, the police issued arrest warrants against seven more individuals.

Khadka was arrested by the police upon his return after receiving Rs 200,000 from Hotel Baltic Inn. The airport staff had temporarily ceased their work during the ongoing investigation against the immigration staff.

The employees also submitted a memorandum, stating that the police had caused unnecessary inconvenience and interfered in their work area.

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