Two foreigners arrested for theft

Kathmandu, January 25

Police have arrested two Iranian tourists for their involvement in swindling a money exchange located in Kathmandu.

The arrested have been identified as Ali Maleki,35, and Vahid Azimikham,31.

The duo entered Nepal on January 6 and swindled above 66,000 rupees from Tahachal-based Prasna Money Exchange. They were arrested after the money exchange filed an FIR.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Rugam Kunwar at Kalimati Metropolitan Police Circle said the duo had on January 20 swindled Nepali currency by misleading the cashier at the money exchange counter. “They produced a 100 dollar bill at the counter and said they wanted to see a 1,000 rupee Nepali banknote before exchanging the dollar.”

DSP Kunwar said the cashier then handed over a bundle of one lakh rupees having Rs 1,000 notes. “The fraudsters then kept the cashier busy talking, and stole 40 notes from the bundle just in front of the cashier and returned the remaining money.” The fraudsters then said they wanted to see Nepali bank notes of denomination Rs 500. Following the same trick, the duo then stole 26 notes of denomination of Rs 500, and left the money exchange without exchanging the dollar note.

“The thieves had stolen money under the eye of the cashier like magicians and vanished into thin air within five minutes,” DSP Kunwar said. Police were able to track the foreign nationals with the help of a CCTV footage outside the money exchange company, where the duo was seen riding a scooter.

Police traced the scooter with its number plate, which led to a two-wheeler lending company in Thamel.

Police arrested them when they visited the company to rent the scooter.

Maleki had visited Nepal six times in the past and Azimikham had arrived here for the third time. Police suspected they were involved in similar fraudaulent activities in the past. They have been held on the charge of theft.

Police had arrested a Pakistani couple for stealing a large amount of foreign currency from a Bhaktapur-based money exchange last July. They had also used similar modus operandi to steal the money.