Nepal Police arrests 32 in document forgery and unauthorized travel ring

Kathmandu: In a significant operation, Nepal Police have apprehended 32 individuals, including travel agency operators and government employees, involved in a sophisticated forgery and illegal travel syndicate. The arrests were made by the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office of Nepal Police.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Somendra Singh Rathore, head of the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office, announced the breakthrough in a press conference on Wednesday. He revealed that the arrests took place since October 6, 2023, and comprehensive actions have been initiated. Among those arrested, six operate consultancies, one is a police personnel, another an ex-police officer, two are employees of Nepal Airlines Corporation, and 11 are affiliated with various other sectors.

Rathore specified that nine individuals are being probed for organized crime, while 12 are under investigation for document forgery. Eight have been released on bail, and three new arrests were made, with investigations already underway.

The arrested travel agency owners include Manuraj Chaudhary (Ontra Trip Online Travels), Ramprasad Bhandari (HR Tours and Travels), Saroj Yadav (Holidays and Travels), Dinesh Gyawali (SKJ Travel), Devraj Khanal (Relevant Travels), and Ganesh Pandey (Advanced Management Consultants).

Notably, the investigation has exposed that travel agencies were charging Rs 15,000 per person for forging documents. Furthermore, employees of the immigration department allegedly demanded Rs 55,000 for new clients and Rs 40,000 for returning individuals who had previously traveled abroad.