Nepal concerned about rising illegal activities of Chinese nationals

09 May 2022 00:55 STI

Kathmandu [Nepal]May 09 (ANI): Nepal is proving to be a gateway for Chinese criminals and the Himalayan nation has become concerned over the growing involvement of Chinese nationals in illegal activities.
On April 22, a joint team from the Immigration Department and Nepal Police raided a house in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu and arrested 22 Chinese nationals, The Annapurna Express (ApEx) reported.
Strangely, at the time, this news was largely ignored by mainstream Nepalese media and details of the incident remain murky to this day.
ApEx learned that authorities were notified of suspicious activity in the house and the suspects were arrested with 35 laptops, 675 mobile phones and 760 SIM cards issued by Nepal Telecom and NCell.
The Chinese nationals are suspected of being part of a syndicate involved in cross-border online betting.
However, neither the immigration agency nor the police have the technology and manpower to confirm their suspicions, ApEx reported.
With no solid grounds to charge the suspects, all 22 were released the next day on condition that they help authorities with the investigation.

The immigration department confiscated their passports to prevent them from leaving the country.
Narayan Prasad Bhattarai, director general of the Immigration Department, said the investigation was continuing with the help of the police.
“The suspects had entered Nepal on business visas. We also discovered that one of them had overstayed his visa,” Bhattarai said, adding, “We are still trying to find out the nature of their activities here in Nepal”.
Laptops and cell phones seized from Chinese nationals were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The digital forensic report of these devices will be crucial in the investigation.
The growing involvement of Chinese nationals in illegal activities has become a serious concern for the Nepalese authorities.
This was evident when authorities arrested 122 Chinese nationals, also with similar equipment, in December 2019 for their alleged involvement in criminal activity.
Among other things, they are suspected of organizing online Ponzi schemes and defrauding foreign nationals with easy loan lures. The Immigration Service is responsible for investigating crimes committed by foreigners.
But the ministry has been unable to fulfill this responsibility due to a shortage of manpower. Even the police seem to lack the expertise to effectively investigate suspicious illegal activities by foreigners. And when it comes to crimes committed through the misuse of technology, they are woefully incompetent, ApEx reported. (ANI)

Sara H. Byrd