Edu consultancy operator held after students return from Saint Lucia

KATHMANDU: An education consultancy operator has been arrested on charge of fraud after 14 students were sent to Saint Lucia with false assurances of their transfer to US universities.

The suspect has been identified as Sujan Neupane of Bharatpur, Chitwan. The 26-year-old runs Visa Abroad Education Consultancy in Bharatpur.

After police received complaints from the victims, Neupane was held from Keshar Mahal of the Capital on Tuesday, Metropolitan Crime Division said.

Neupane had charged Rs 1.2 million each from 15 people for their admission in Lambirds Academy in Saint Lucia by assuring them of transfer to the US universities in a year.

When 14 of them reached  the island nation in the eastern Caribbean, with a hope to go to the US later, they discovered that the Lambirds Academy was on the verge of shutdown. Its operators were reportedly arrested for human trafficking charges.

Its website says that the Lambirds Academy provides specialised training in Hospitality, Tourism, Trade, ICT, Health and Cruise Management Courses.

After returning to Nepal in two weeks, they resorted to police for help.

The MPCD said preliminary investigation showed that Neupane had been swindling students of money on the pretext of sending them to the US via Saint Lucia.

MPCD handed the accused over to the District Police Office, Chitwan for further information and action.

The website has listed New Baneshwar-based Excellent Int’l Educational Institute and Kathmandu Multiconsult, Putalisadak-based Learn Care Educational Consultancy Pvt Ltd and Perception Pvt Ltd, Kupundol-based Progressive Learning Centre and Engineering Concern P Ltd, and Chabahil-based Significant Education Consultancy Pvt Ltd and Toppers Academy Foundation Pvt Ltd as its agents in Nepal. There is no mention of Bharatpur-based Visa Abroad Education Consultancy in it.