Travel agency arrested for facilitating human trafficking under the guise of visit visa

Kathmandu: Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office has apprehended a prominent travel operator, Binod Karki, aged 45, on charges of assisting human smuggling. Karki, the proprietor of City Tours and Travels residing in Mahalaxmi Municipality-4, Imadol, Lalitpur, stands accused of sending individuals abroad on ‘visit visas’ based on forged documents.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Rabindra Regmi revealed that Karki was arrested for engaging in illegal activities, and the arrest took place on Thursday. The revelation of Karki’s identity was made public today.

During the operation, police seized a staggering 1,513 suspicious passports belonging to individuals intending to travel abroad on visit visas. The confiscated documents included forged Grade XII certificates, fake labor approvals, fraudulent relationship verifications, police reports, and false bank details. This significant haul occurred at the Tribhuvan International Airport Security Office on Monday.

Further investigations exposed a network involving travel agencies, consultants, and agents facilitating foreign travel with counterfeit documents. These entities were found to be providing airlines with sums ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per person. Additionally, immigration officials were offered amounts ranging from Rs 40,000 to Rs 55,000 per person to facilitate the illicit activities.

In response to these findings, Binod Karki was apprehended from Balkhu, Kathmandu, on Monday for additional investigation and impending legal action. SP Rabindra Regmi, also the spokesperson at the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office, emphasized the gravity of the situation and the need for a thorough inquiry into the network involved in human smuggling activities. The arrest serves as a testament to law enforcement’s commitment to combating illegal activities and upholding the integrity of travel procedures.