Labour office stops pursuing fraud casesVictims despair as authority to probe foreign employment swindling cases transferred to District Administration Office.
Manish Kumar Rajbanshi, a resident of Kanepokhari in Morang district, has fallen victim to a swindling case in his bid to fly to Canada. According to him, he provided Rs 1.3 million to Asim Gurung of Kathmandu in February after the latter assured him to send him to Canada. Gurung is out of contact now.
Upon learning that victims of foreign employment fraud like him got justice after Prem Sanjel was transferred at Labour Office in Biratnagar, Rajbanshi lodged a complaint at the labour office on September 1. But to his dismay, the labour office did not pursue his case.
Hemnarayan Chaudhary of Gramsthan had also paid Rs 770,000 to Bibek Pokharel to go to Mauritius a few months ago. He too was swindled.
“I was called to Kathmandu and stayed there for three months waiting to fly to Mauritius. I was later taken to New Delhi and kept there for another two months. It was only then that I realised that I’d been cheated,” said Chaudhary. Like Rajbanshi, Chaudhary also reached the labour office in Biratnagar with his complaint, only to be turned away.
The office no longer looks after foreign employment fraud cases. Last year, the office, under Sanjel’s leadership, had recovered around
Rs 21.5 million from foreign employment scammers. Many victims at the time had heaved a sigh of relief by the initiative.
But their relief was short-lived as the authority to look into foreign employment fraud cases was removed from the labour office and entrusted to the District Administration Office.
“We don’t look into swindling related cases anymore. It’s not in our ambit. It is with the centre,” said Sanjel. On May 14, the Department of Labour and Occupational Safety had written a letter to the Biratnagar labour office, instructing not to pursue fraud cases related to foreign employment.
The labour office can no longer help hundreds of foreign employment fraud victims like Rajbanshi and Chaudhary. They say they have little hope from the District Administration Office recovering their lost money.