Police recover only 67 passports from the arrested 122 Chinese nationalsThe arrested Chinese nationals may be involved in suspicious activities, including cybercrime, police suspect.
After arresting 122 Chinese nationals on Monday in the single-biggest arrest of foreigners in Nepal, the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police said on Wednesday that it has recovered passports from only about half of those arrested.
According to the bureau, as many as 67 passports have been seized from the 122 Chinese, along with 747 mobile phones, 331 laptops, 18 CPUs, 19 monitors, 22 pen drives and 327 sim cards.
“We have only got 67 passports from those arrested so far and if we are not able to discover all the passports, they will be charged as per the law,” said Deputy Inspector General Niraj Shahi, chief of the bureau.
The police on Monday arrested the Chinese nationals, including eight women, from nine houses located at Manmaiju, Maharajgunj as well as Budhanilkantha, suspecting their involvement in suspicious activities, including cybercrime.
“The Chinese nationals are not properly cooperating with the police, so it has become difficult to ascertain the purpose of their stay,” said Shahi. “However, we are checking the things seized from them and the fact will be out within a few days.”
Monday’s crackdown, part of a joint Nepal-China operation, was the biggest single-day arrest of individuals from a foreign country in Nepal. It was part of an initiative taken on the Interpol’s request.
According to a press release issued by the bureau, the Chinese nationals had misbehaved with the police team when they were taken into custody.
The Kathmandu District Administration Office on Tuesday authorized the Nepal Police to take the Chinese nationals into investigative custody for five days.
According to officials, some of the arrested Chinese nationals may have been staying illegally or operating businesses in Nepal, despite holding tourist visas.
“The investigation is underway and if they are found guilty of any wrongdoing in Nepal, then they will be charged here. If not, then there are high chances of them being deported,” said Shahi.
Officials told the Post that they had been closely watching the Chinese nationals in question for the last two months in various parts of Kathmandu.
Of late, concerns have grown over Chinese nationals’ involvement in financial crimes.
In September, five Chinese nationals were arrested for using cloned debit cards to withdraw millions of rupees from different cash dispensers in Kathmandu. At the time, police had confiscated 132 forged VISA debit cards, 17 authentic VISA cards, six mobile phones, a laptop and a data card from them.