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Nepal struggles to charge suspicious Chinese nationals

Nepal struggles to charge suspicious Chinese nationals

Thousands of foreigners are believed to be living and working in Nepal illegally. These include undocumented refugees (from the Middle East, Myanmar and Bangladesh) as well as those who enter the country on valid visas only to stay on well past their expiry and engage in dubious dealings. As China has looked to tighten the screws on its nationals involved in illegal activities in Southeast Asia, many of them have upped sticks and shifted to countries like Nepal with relatively laxer law-enforcement.

In the past, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu has itself requested for Nepal’s help in rounding up and deporting its nationals back to the homeland. For instance, in 2019, Nepal arrested and deported 122 Chinese nationals who were involved in various fraudulent activities online.

Most recently, on April 22, Nepali law-enforcement authorities nabbed another 22 suspicious Chinese nationals. Thirty-five laptops, 675 mobile-phone sets and 760 Nepali SIM cards were confiscated from them. Investigation continues. But those arrested have already been let go as the police are confused about the crime they should be charged with. (Their passports have been confiscated though.) Nepal currently does not have the manpower or the technology to investigate complex cross-border online transactions.

What police know for sure thus far is that the 22 suspects conducted their business using various apps with servers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Yet without the right technology or manpower, Nepal Police have found it devilishly difficult to properly trace these transactions.

The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu chose not to respond to a request for comment.

Full story here: Probe into 22 Chinese nationals gets knotty