Recruitment agents utilize foreigners to swindle millions from unemployed youths

Ramesh Bharati 06 Apr 2024
Recruitment agents utilize foreigners to swindle millions from unemployed youths This undated photo shows migrant workers boarding a Qatar Airlines flights at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Photo Courtesy: Center for the Study of Labor and Mobility

KATHMANDU: It has been found that foreign employment agents are deceiving unemployed youths by making foreign nationals pose as representatives of foreign employer companies.

The cases of agents conducting ‘job interviews’ by bringing fake employers from abroad and absconding after defrauding them of hundreds and thousands of rupees are on the rise in recent months, according to Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police. These agents use social media platforms to publish recruitment notices.

Officials of Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police say that they have seen a rise in the number of youths swindled by such agents in recent months.

Sabin Chhetri of Budhabare of Jhapa is one of such youth. After failing to find suitable employment opportunities at home, he decided to try his hands in foreign countries. He visited different recruitment companies and consultancies. One day, he saw an advertisement on social media regarding employment opportunities in the United Kingdom. “I applied for the position online,” Sabin told Himal Press.

About seven hours after he submitted the online application, he received a phone call from a representative of IRIS Expert Consultancy who asked him to come to Kathmandu for an interview with citizenship and academic certificates.

Sabin arrived in Kathmandu. He was taken to a building in Putalisdak which didn’t have any signboards. He sat for an interview with a foreigner whom the IRIS Expert Consultancy representative identified as a UK-based company representative.

Five hours after the interview, Sabin got a call from the representative of the consultancy who told him that he had been selected for employment in the UK. The representative also asked him to pay a fee of Rs 150,000.

“I paid the fee to the consultancy. They had told him that my visa would come in about a month,” Sabin said.

After about a month, the company informed him that his calling visa had arrived and asked him to pay another Rs 100,000. The consultancy kept asking Sabin to pay fees under different headings which he complied with accordingly.

“In January, the consultancy asked me to pay some more money stating that my visa has arrived,” Sabin said.

According to Sabin, Kedar Chaudhary of IRIS Expert Consultancy collected Rs 1.1 million each from eight other youths like him.

The consultancy took all of them to Azerbaijan, saying they were on their way to the United Kingdom. But Chaudhary went out of contact from Azerbaijan. “Only then we realized that Chaudhary had fleeced us. He had taken us to Azerbaijan on a visit visa,” Sabin said. “We are still to get our academic certificates submitted to the consultancy.”

Roshani Chaudhary of Morang is another youth fleeced by IRIS Expert Consultancy. “Kedar swindled me out of Rs 900,000 promising me a job in the agricultural sector in the UK,” Roshani said.

She also said a representative of the UK-based employer company had taken her job interview. “They took me to UAE. We were 11 in the team. After keeping us there for 45 days, Kedar went out of contact,” Roshani said. “We all returned to Kathmandu using our savings.”

The Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police arrested Kedar (37), a resident of Kamal Rural Municipality-7 of Jhapa and currently residing in Kateshwari Manohara-7 of Kathmandu, earlier this week, according to Gyanendra Prasad Phuyal, the spokesperson for the bureau.

Complaints from 35 youths had been filed against Kedar at the bureau, seeking to recover Rs 60 million paid to him. These youths have also accused Kedar of leaving them stranded in Azerbaijan, UAE and India, among other countries.

Another person accused of such fraud is 41-year-old Sudesh Sunuwar Mukhiya from Besigaun in Gokarneshwor Municipality of Kathmandu. He has been accused of collecting money from 15 youths by promising to send them to Canada for employment.

Lekhnath Bhurtel is one of the youth deceived by Mukhiya. According to Lekhnath, Mukhiya defrauded three people of Rs 4.5 million by promising to send them to Canada for foreign employment via UAE.

“Foreigners conducted our job interview at a hotel in Samakhushi of Kathmandu,” Lekhnath said. “Mukhia introduced the foreigners as Indian and Canadian experts.”

According to Lekhnath, Mukhiya has collected more than Rs 30 million from 15 youths. “He took us to UAE saying that we were en route to Canada and left us stranded for 53 days,” Lekhnath added.

Phuyal said the bureau arrested Mukhiya after complaints were filed against him for defrauding more than Rs 30 million.

According to Phuyal, the bureau has been receiving complaints that some consultancies, agents and individuals are bringing ‘European employers’ and setting up fake interviews for foreign employment. “Consultancies have been conducting interviews by bringing foreigners impersonating as representatives of employer companies from countries like the UK, Canada, Spain, Poland and Malta etc. They are targeting youths seeking foreign employment opportunities,” said Phuyal.

Phuyal said that an investigation is underway regarding the purpose for which the foreigners posing as employers have come to Nepal and are operating in this manner.

The bureau has stated that more than 300 complaints of fraud in the name of foreign employment have been received in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. “Some of the accused have fled out of the country which is making it difficult for us to conduct an investigation,” he added.

Published On: 06 Apr 2024


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