Kathmandu, October 19
The number of foreigners doing time in Nepali prisons for various criminal activities is increasing of late.
According to the statistics released by the Department of Prison Management, 1,195 foreign nationals are serving jail sentence or awaiting final court verdict in 32 prisons across the country.
The number of foreigners in Nepali jails shot up to 1,195 from 898 in 2018.
Any foreign national, who commits crime on Nepali soil, is liable to fine and jail sentence as per the existing laws of the country. Foreign jailbirds are serving jail terms for drug smuggling, human trafficking, banking offence, smuggling of fake currency notes, fraud, wildlife crime, paedophilia, gold smuggling, cybercrime, rape, murder, forgery of passports and citizenship certificates. Foreigners doing time are mostly Indians, Chinese, Bhutanese, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nigerians, Tanzanians, Africans, French, Canadians, Romanians and Bulgarians, among others. Foreign jailbirds were either convicted or remanded to judicial custody.
Of the total foreign jailbirds, 203 are in the Central Jail, 23 in Dilli Bazaar Prison of Kathmandu and 103 in Nakkhu Jail of Lalitpur. Parsa is housing 211 foreign jailbirds, the largest number of foreigners. Similarly, Ilam has 10, Jhapa 93, Morang 53, Sunsari 85, Saptari 13, Siraha 12, Ramechhap 18, Sindhuli 1, Mahottari 15, Rasuwa 8, Kavre 1, Dhading 6, Makwanpur 53, Chitwan 18, Rautahat 22, Kaski 29, Rupandehi 19, Kapilvastu 17, Nawalparasi 24, Palpa 15, Dang 15, Banke 63, Bardiya 14, Dailekh 3, Kailali 33, Dadeldhura 1 and Kanchanpur 14. The country has 74 prisons in 72 of 77 districts.
The DoPM said the increasing number of foreigners in jails indicated the impact of transnational crime on Nepal. Many drug smugglers were found making Nepal their transit point to push contraband into various countries.
Similarly, around 600 foreigners were deported after they served jail sentence for various crimes, including drug trafficking, smuggling of fake and illegal currency, fraud and banking offence, among others, during fiscal 2007-08 to 2018-19.
A version of this article appears in print on October 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.