Anti-graft body drags 25 officials to courtThe Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Friday filed a corruption case at the Special Court against 25 officials working then at the Department of Foreign Employment and two middlemen on the charge of facilitating departures of Nepali women to Kuwait based on fake documents and without visa.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Friday filed a corruption case at the Special Court against 25 officials working then at the Department of Foreign Employment and two middlemen on the charge of facilitating departures of Nepali women to Kuwait based on fake documents and without visa.
This is one of the few cases where a large number of government officials have been dragged to the court on corruption charges at one go, according to the anti-graft body. Officials ranking from section officers to computer operators have been named in the case. All the 25 staffers against whom the CIAA has filed the case have already been transferred from the department.
According to the corruption watchdog, the investigation followed a complaint that labour permits were issued without visa based on false documents in collusion with middlemen.It had investigated the details of permits for women to work in Kuwait issued between August 25, 2017 and October 25, 2017. The anti-graft body found that labour permits were issued to 184 women based on fake documents.
“Labour permits were granted even to those who didn’t have the visa, and those with expired or cancelled visas,” the CIAA said in a statement. “This pushed them to the risk of being exploited physically, mentally and financially.”
The CIAA charge-sheeted six section officers of the department—Hari Prasad Devkota, Deepak Kumar Acharya, Ganesh Bikram Shah, Dinesh Kumar Rai, Pabitra Shrestha, and Ram Prasad Oli.
Fourteen non-gazetted officers—Amar Raj Joshi, Bishnu Hari Niraula, Dil Bahadur Khatri, Hem Raj Pandey, Karna Bahadur Nepali, Kedar Ghimire, Madan Giri, Khagendra Pokharel, Laxmi Devi Bhusal, Nagendra Prasad Gautam, Rabindra Ghimire, Raghunath KC, Yogendra Khatri and Keshav Raj Dhungana—have also been charged. The two middlemen facing the case are Rajiv Kumar Panjiyar and Bikas Thapa.
CIAA Spokesperson Rameshore Dangal said they didn’t have the details of how much money the women paid to get the labour permits. “But it is clear that the government staff issued labour permits to reap financial benefits,” he added.
Although the government has barred women from migrating to the Middle East to work as domestic workers since last year, a large number of Nepali women are still leaving for jobs other than housemaids. A large number of them reach countries in the Persian Gulf via India.
According to official data, 1,626 women got permits to work in Kuwait for other jobs in the fiscal year 2017-18.
On charge sheet
Hari Prasad Devkota
Deepak Kumar Acharya
Ganesh Bikram Shah
Dinesh Kumar Rai
Ram Prasad Oli
Amar Raj Joshi
Bishnu Hari Niraula
Dil Bahadur Khatri
Hem Raj Pandey
Karna Bahadur Nepali
Laxmi Devi Bhusal
Nagendra Prasad Gautam
Keshav Raj Dhungana
Rajiv Kumar Panjiyar