Five persons including four women who were being smuggled to Iraq have been rescued from Kanchanpur on Thursday.

A team from Maiti Nepal, Kanchanpur, rescued the women from a Delhi-bound bus that had departed from Kathmandu via Gaddachuki border point on Thursday morning. Having been assembled in Kathmandu, the rescued women were meant to reach foreign countries through Delhi of India.

The rescued have been identified as Palyangyu Tamang, 37, Nima Sherpa, 38, Sabita Tamang, 32 of Sindhupalchowk, and Uma Rai, 41, and Jayaram Rai, aged 18, of Khotang.

“At first we smelled something wrong and detained one of them, but later we learnt that some persons were meaning to smuggle them out of the country, so we had to detain all of them,” said Maiti Nepal coordinator Maheshwori Bhatta, adding that the rescued women will be handed over to their respective kin at the earliest.

As per data with Maiti Nepal, as many as 66 persons have been rescued from the border in the past three months in the wake of the April 25 earthquake. According to Bhatta, they have beefed up checking at the border in cooperation with the Sashastra Seema Bal in view of the bids to smuggle and sell women in Indian cities, in the aftermath of the quake.