Hotelier arrested with 40 passports

Kathmandu, June 7

Police have arrested a hotelier with passports of 40 foreign employment aspirants.

According to Central Police News Section, Gongabu-based Metropolitan Police Sector raided Hotel Swargadwari in Mitranagar and arrested Prem Bahadur BK, 30, of Rolpa yesterday night. Officials said BK, in collusion with various manpower agencies, collected the passports of youths coming to Kathmandu seeking employment opportunities abroad.

After collecting and holding passports of youths staying at his hotel as guests, he  contacted the manpower agencies for documentation. Police said BK acted as a middleman between the manpower agencies and foreign employment aspirants. He has been handed over to the Department of Foreign Employment for further investigation.

Police said they had stepped up action to locate ‘illegal passport collection centres operating from hotels, lodges, restaurants and rented rooms’. Last week, two persons were arrested in connection with human trafficking under the cloak of sending youths for employment abroad without registering their business with the agencies concerned.

Acting on a tip off, police raided a room in Jarankhu of Tarkeshwor Municipality-8 and arrested Manmaya Acharya, 43, of Nawalparasi and Chhabilal Ghimire, 39, of Tanahun with 34 Nepali citizenship certificates, 30 passports and 14 medical clearance reports of various persons, including women.

According to police, the duo trafficked the victims to Gulf countries on tourist visa with the assurance of a lucrative job there.  As many as 6,100 persons, including women and children, were trafficked from the country during the fiscal 2015-16, a report shows. The ‘Trafficking in persons’ National Report 2015/16 released by the National Human Rights Commission  showed that 98 per cent of the trafficking victims were women.

Police said most trafficking victims were lured by false promises of decent jobs and better lives abroad.

Key agents of smugglers comprise a range of individuals as well as agencies, including recruiting firms, education consultancies, marriage bureaus and cultural groups, among others.