KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 14
The government is deporting 41 Chinese nationals for ‘suspicious activities’. Apparently, they were staying illegally in the country.
It is learnt that the Department of Immigration, on July 19, had ordered deportation of 22 Chinese and additional 19 on September 4. All the Chinese were fined Rs 40,000 to 50,000 each and banned from entering the country for one to three years according to DoI.
All of them have to return to their country on their own expense.
Many have already left.
The government has stepped up action against Chinese nationals who have overstayed.
On 23 December 2019 action, 122 Chinese nationals were arrested and deported.
Police had arrested them on cyber crime charges. They were not presented at court.
Fifty per cent of those arrested didn’t have passports. Police suspected that cyber crime racketeers had held their passports and forced them to work for low wages. Most of them were below 24 years old. More than 41 of them had expired tourist visas.
Since then, some Chinese tourists are being deported each day, said Ramesh Kumar KC, director general of DoI.
A source at the Ministry of Home Affairs said the recently deported Chinese could be part of a similar racket.
But, as in the previous case, authorities said they were involved in ‘suspicious activities living on tourist visas,’ without elaborating. “All the deported were involved in suspicious activities and they had tourist visas,” KC said. He, however, refused to shed more light on what exactly the Chinese tourists were doing. Another DoI official said many of those deported were operating restaurants in the country with expired tourist visa.
Chinese tourists can stay in the country for 150 days. “Such long duration of stay has attracted many unwanted people who often working in the country without valid visas,” said the source.
Action against illegally staying Chinese has also increased after the visit of Wang Xiaohong, the Director of the Ministry of Public Security, in Kathmandu, after the December 23 arrest of 122 Chinese.
“While deporting tourists we also keep in mind not to mar diplomatic relations between the two countries,” KC said.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.