Nepal’s envoy to Australia Lucky Sherpa likely to be sacked

Kathmandu, December 8

Chairpersons of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal had decided on Thursday to sack  Nepal’s Ambassador to Australia Lucky Sherpa, said a source.

The source said Oli and Dahal met after human trafficking allegation was levelled against Sherpa and decided to sack her. A formal decision will be out soon.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is investigating the allegation against Sherpa, has summoned her. She will arrive in Kathmandu late in the evening today.

An NCP source said Sherpa would lose her job irrespective of the result of the ongoing investigation.

Deputy-spokesperson at MoFA Ram Babu Dhakal said the ministry had summoned Sherpa to seek clarification from her. “The government wants to know the  truth about the incident, so we called her.” MoFA has  formed a three-member committee to investigate the allegation.

Sherpa  was appointed ambassador during PM Oli’s first term in 2015-16. She was proposed as ambassador by the then Maoist Centre chief Dahal and accepted by the then CPN-UML led by Oli.

Lucky’s former  driver Wongchhu Sherpa accused her and her husband of human trafficking saying he had collected money for them from some people promising them safe passage to Australia. Talking to THT over phone from Australia, Wongchhu said he had paid Rs 3.3 million to Ambassador Sherpa’s husband and her mother to go to Australia. He said he flew to Australia with Ambassador Sherpa on 9 June  2017.

He informed he had collected Rs 250,000 from Niphuti Sherpa,  400,000 from Tashi Sherpa and Rs 1.4 million from Nim Dawa Sherpa at Ambassador Sherpa’s behest. He said he told the three persons he had filed a case against Sherpa in Australia and would return their money once he got it from the ambassador, but they wrongly implicated his wife in the case. He said one of the persons who had given him money wrongly implicated his wife in a fraud case and his wife was staying in judicial custody since May 20.   Wonghhu said Sherpa had made him sign a bond saying he would pay her Rs 6.4 million for ensuring safe passage for his wife to Australia.  He said she had told him to pay from his and his wife’s salary every month.

Ambassador Sherpa had earlier  told THT over phone from Australia that Wongchhu’s allegation against her and her family was fabricated. She also said the telephonic conversation that Wongchhu claimed to have saved was fake.

The Nepali Embassy in Australia had also issued a press release saying Wongchhu had been living illegally in Australia and was trying to influence the court by levelling false accusations against the ambassador and her family. Ambassador Sherpa told THT she was ready to face punishment if found guilty.

The embassy stated that it had written to the authorities concerned on 20 December  2017, seeking action against Wongchhu. A case against him is sub judice in Nepal’s court.