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13 youths en route to the US illegally stranded in Nigeria

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MYAGDI — Thirteen youths of Myagdi who had decided to follow middlepersons after paying a huge amount with a hope of entering the United States of America illegally have been reportedly stranded in Nigeria.

As per the information given by youths of Arman of Mangala Rural Municipality-5, 23 Nepalis including 13 from Myagdi have been reportedly held captive at a hotel based in Lagos in Nigeria. They had reached the (west) African country some 22 months ago via India and Thailand as per the plans of their agents.

One of the alleged victims from Nigeria said on the condition of anonymity that Nepali middlemen are also involved in their captivity.

The incident came to light after one of the youths succeeded in making contact with his family. They have reportedly paid around Rs 3.5 million each to agents who promised to take them to the US.

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The police have arrested a Nepali agent. Efforts were underway to get additional information about the matter, said a person from Myagdi living in the USA quoting the family. The route which Nepalis take for an entry into the USA is risky, he said.

Nepali middlepersons are stationed in various countries like Nepal, India and Thailand whom the Nepalis heading to the USA have to pay for covering a fixed distance.

After reaching Mexico passing through various 12 countries like India, Brazil, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, dense forests and seas, agents demand money charged for covering the way as a last setting.

Of late, Countries like Bolivia, Panama and Mexico have become an attraction for foreign employment where agents send Nepalis to work in hotels.

The youths in captivity have demanded money from their families. The number of people paying at least Rs 5 million for a job in the USA is higher.

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Dolpa Ward Chairman held on charge of idol theft

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DOLPA — Karma Gurung, Chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality-5 in Upper Dolpa, was arrested on charge of idol theft from Kathmandu. A team of police personnel from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested Gurung from Bauddha in the capital city.

Police said that Ward Chairman Karma was held for allegedly stealing Buddha idols from Rahap Monastery situated in She-Phoksundo Rural Municipality-4.

Gurung, an independent candidate, was elected the ward chair in the recent local level elections but later joined the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after the unification of two communist parties.

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Likewise, Ukren Pasang Gurung, 41, and Pasang Lundup Gurung of She-phoksundo Rural Municipality; Jhyampachhuldim Lama, 41, and Tshering Dawa Gurung, 43, of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality were also held from a special team of CIB.

Asked about the arrest of ward chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dolpa District Police Office Awadesh Bista confirmed Karma Gurung’s arrest on charge of idol theft and added that further investigations were ongoing.

A total of 42 Buddha’s idols were stolen from Rahap Monastery some eight years ago but the locals had noticed the issue just some four months ago.

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