Bangladeshis remanded in custody over fake Nepali passports

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu District Court (KDC)today remanded two Bangladeshis in police custody for another seven days to facilitate probe into the charge of possessing fake Nepali passports.

Three Bangladeshis — Kamrul Islam, Amran Ali and Moniyar — were detained by security officials at Tribhuvan International Airport on Wednesday.

Kamrul and Amran had been handed over to Metropolitan Police Range at Hanumandhoka later on the day. While, Moniyar is at the custody of Immigration Section and has been put on trial for posing threat to airport security as he had made his way to board a Qatar Airways plane.

Kamrul and Amran were arrested with fake Nepali passports during the screening at TIA. SP Ganesh KC, in-charge, MPR, said they were put on trial under Government Seal and Forgery Signature Act.

“The motive for possessing fake Nepali passports appears to be using them to fly to European or American countries due to tight vigil on Muslims in the recent times.

It is yet to be known who procured them the passports. We’re still trying to get closer to the racketeers,” he explained.

SP KC, however, said the case of Bangladeshis was different from that of five Afghans, who were arrested with Nepali passports in Indian city of Chennai last month. “Bachchuram KC, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued the fake passports illegally. But the Bangladeshis procured it from forgers in the market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police have intensified efforts to track down Kishor Kumar Shrestha, hailing from Putali Bazaar of Syangja for his alleged link with Bachchuram. The MoFA official had told investigators that he had provided the Afghans with the Nepali passports for Rs 15,000 each at the behest of Kishor, who used to run Shrestha Consultancy at Maharajgunj.

“We have gathered all the details about him and he will be brought to book soon,” said KC.

Bachchuram has confessed the crime. In a fit of repentance, he is said to be cooperating with the police to uncover the mystery.

“We’re also looking into the fake Nepali passport racketeers, including Bachchuram in the ministry, as committing such a crime alone is not easy. The

passport making process goes through a number of channels in an office,” argued SP KC.

The Bangladeshis can face up to three years’ jail term as per the law if convicted.