Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Shameful swindles


When Gokul Basnyat of Khotang flew to Singapore, he thought that he would earn Rs 100,000 a month as a cook. In hope of this he gave Rs 75,000 to Rajendra Thapa, a manpower agent. Only after reaching Singapore did he realise that a tourist visa had been stamped in his passport. Basnyat came back to Nepal and filed a case in the Ministry of Labour. Thapa was caught on 21 July.

Under the name of a company named Aupair Nepal, Gambhir Raj and Gagan Raj KC duped sums of between Rs 25,000 and Rs 400,000 from people hoping to go to the US, Canada, Australia and Macau. Gambhir Raj was arrested on 12 July but his brother is still out on the streets. According to Posh Raj Chaudhary (pictured), the KC brothers have deceived 18 people aspiring to go to Macau.

"They took the money time and again, but didn't do our work," says Rupa Shrestha as she shows a receipt for Rs 350,000. Her husband was one of the 18 decieved. Another six, including Santosh Gurung of Pokhara, were also waiting to go the US through the same company.

Chandra Bahadur BK's story is no different. He left his home in Nanglebare, Kathmandu to work as a plumber in Qatar where he expected a salary of Rs 14,000 a month. Instead he had to labour digging a tunnel in a desert and was not paid well either. He had borrowed Rs 95,000 from a local moneylender at five per cent interest, to give to Surendra Tamang of River Overseas, a manpower company in Kathmandu. Now BK, along with his wife and son, are knocking on the doors at the Ministry of Labour, hoping he will get his money back.

Siddhartha Gautam Overseas, Kathmandu was involved in issuing fake Malaysian visas for a fee of Rs 65,000. When Binaya Gahara filed a case against the owner, Krishna Kuwar, he was kidnapped from the ministry itself on 27 July.

Gahara was badly beaten up and pressured to withdraw the case. Keshab Kumar Oli, who went to Qatar through the same manpower company after paying them Rs 83,000, was jailed there for a month. He too is at the ministry seeking justice. "They have threatened that they can do anything if the case is not withdrawn," says Oli.

When Om Gurung of Quality Manpower did not send Narendra Katwal of Morang to Macau, even after Katwal had paid him the sum of Rs100,000, Katwal too ran to the Ministry of Labour for help. This was the second time he had been conned. Earlier, he along with seven others had been cheated by Sunil Rasaili of Kathmandu's Indaman Consultancy, which had taken Rs 275,000 to send them to Afghanistan.

Sri Krishna Gurung offered people employment abroad and swindled money out of them. He would pretend to be a singer-songwriter, reporter or even a policeman. Gurung was caught but the police let him off on the condition that he would pay everybody back. Mandip Rai of Gothatar, Kathmandu was easily fooled by Gurung when he showed him a news piece titled 'Singer Gurung granted multiple-entry visa' printed on 10 June in Nepal Samacharpatra. In the hope of flying to the US, Mandip handed over a sum of Rs 300,000.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)