May 19: The police have arrested Chairperson of the Nepal Haj Committee Shamsher Miya in connection with the fake Bhutanese refugee scam. He was apprehended from Singha Durbar on Thursday afternoon.
Miya was arrested after his involvement was established in sending Nepali citizens to the United States as Bhutanese refugees, said Senior Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Karki, chief of the District Police Range, Kathmandu.
Miya had made available a vehicle provided to the Haj Committee for the group of people involved in the racket, said SSP Karki. The jeep (embossed vehicle number BAB-1405) under the brand of Nissan was reportedly used to facilitate the racket, according to the police. The police have also taken the vehicle under control.
Members of the racket would use the vehicle while travelling to various parts of the country like Sauraha of Chitwan district and Sundhara of Kathmandu in the name of taking interviews of their clients aspiring to go to the US, claimed the police.
The jeep under the ownership of the Ministry of Home Affairs has been registered with the Haj Committee. Miya was absconding after the police launched investigations into the case until his arrest on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu District Court has remanded Miya along with Bhutanese refugee leader Teknath Rijal for two days in judicial custody for investigation into their alleged involvement in the Bhutanese refugee scam.
Rizal was arrested by the police from Tribhuvan International Airport while he was coming to Kathmandu from Jhapa, while Miya was arrested from the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation at Singha Durbar, Superintendent of Police Sitaram Rial said.
Police had earlier arrested 14 people, including the former home minister and home secretary, in connection with the case.
Further arrests were made based on the statements given by the accused. The number of people arrested in relation to this scam has reached 16.
Rijal was arrested for investigation after it was found that he had financial transactions with Sanu Bhandari, who was detained earlier by the police.
Other high-profile individuals arrested in connection with the case including former deputy prime minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, former home minister Bal Krishna Khand, former secretary (home affairs) Teknarayan Pandey, former home minister's security adviser Dr Indrajit Rai.