KATHMANDU, Feb 13: Authorities in Afghanistan have detained 21 Nepalis for illegally entering Kabul with forged passports and visas.
According to Afghan Interior Affairs Ministry, the detained Nepalis are among 61 foreign nationals including 25 Indians and 15 Sri Lankans arrested in an operation conducted by the Anti-Crime Department of the ministry on Saturday.
Talking to Republica over telephone, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Siddiqi said all the arrested were trafficked to Kabul by a Nepali trafficker named Y T Lingam. "Police have arrested 61 people including the trafficker from one of the areas in Kabul city. All of them are safe," he said.
All the arrested were living in poor conditions in a house in Kabul before being detained by local police. Afghan authorities are yet to release the details of the arrested persons as local police are continuing further investigations.
Though all the detained have confessed to police that they were trafficked by a Nepali national, the surname of the name of the trafficker released to media does not appear to be one of Nepali, a foreign ministry official in Kathmandu said.
It is still not clear since how long the arrested persons had been living in Kabul.
Spokesman Siddiqi said the arrested have confessed before police that they were taken by the Nepali trafficker with promise of lucrative jobs including in European countries. "It seems that most of these young guys are cheated by some criminal gang," he further told Republica over phone.
Saturday´s arrests come in the wake of media reports that human traffickers have lately started using new routes including Thailand to smuggle people to various Western countries. Such traffickers often leave people midway if difficulties arise in the course of smuggling them to the promised countries, forcing them to seek refuge in their concerned embassies.
Siddiqi said preparations are underway to deport all the arrested back to their home countries. "We are in contact with our foreign ministry to repatriate them to their home countries," he added.
A large number of Nepalis have started going to Afghanistan to work especially in private security companies for the past few years. But Nepal government has not recognized Afghanistan as a labor destination.
Nepali ambassador to Pakistan Bal Bahadur Kunwar, who is also concurrently accreditated to Afghanistan, said they are yet to get any information about the arrests. “Yesterday [Saturday] was holiday. We will seek information about the arrests through diplomatic channels tomorrow [Monday],” he told Republica on the phone from Islamabad.
Very unfortunate, I know our youth unemployment rate is so high (around or over 50%) thus they tend to abroad. BUT Don´t take the short-cut and illegal way. Go legitimately if want to or, stay at home and do something what ever you can. I also ask, why the government does not come with an youth engagement program to work and develop Nepal? I am always surprised, why to go a foreign country illegally? on top of that ´why Afghanistan´. There were other incidents some Nepalese we