Kathmandu, December 24
A total of 122 Chinese nationals, who were arrested from three different locations in Kathmandu yesterday, have been remanded to police custody for five days to conduct thorough investigation into their activities.
Police, who have confiscated 500 laptops and desktop computers, over 800 mobile phones and more than 1,000 SIM cards from houses rented by Chinese nationals, believe that those arrested were involved in criminal activities, including cyber and financial crime. “But it is too early to come to any conclusion now as investigations are under way. We have, therefore, put them behind bars on charges of committing social offence,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, who heads Metropolitan Police Range, Teku.
Police have not been able to extract much information from the arrested Chinese largely because of language barrier. “We have requested teachers from Biswo Bhasa Campus and officials of the Chinese Embassy to work as translators,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobindra Bogati.
This is the first time Nepal Police has arrested such a large number of foreigners in a day. Of the arrested, eight are females. A majority of those arrested are below 45.
Most of them had visited Nepal on tourist visas, while others were in possession of student visas. It is not known whether the Chinese were living here with valid visas or were overstaying.
“We have not been able to get hold of passports of most of the Chinese. So we cannot comment about their visa status,” DSP Bogati said.
Deputy Inspector General Neeraj Bahadur Shahi, who heads the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police, said, “Chinese security agencies had informed IGP Sarbendra Khanal about operation of an illegal Chinese ring in Kathmandu during the 88th INTERPOL General Assembly in Chile in October.”
This information prompted police to monitor movements of Chinese nationals in Kathmandu. Yesterday police barged into seven houses — three in Manamaiju and two each in Bansbari and Budhanilkantha — and arrested 122 Chinese nationals.
A version of this article appears in print on December 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.