KATHMANDU: Incidents of crimes, including cyber heist, rape, and human trafficking, involving Chinese nationals have significantly gone up in recent times in Nepal.
On September 1, a police squad of investigation team caught five Chinese nationals red-handed while they were stealing money by hacking the ATM system in Kathmandu.
Police then fanned out in response to the incident. Nepal police personnel arrested Chinese nationals including Lin Jianmeng (Passport No. E32377713), Luo Jialei (Passport No. E095526374), Zhu Liangang (Passport No. Ec1937558), Qiu Yunqing (Passport No. EH02777650), Chen Bin Bin (Passport No. E89056825).
A Chinese national involved in a hacking ATM system in Kathmandu was arrested from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) the other day.
Su Lusly, 36, was arrested from the TIA while he was about to board a China-bound plane on Sunday night (September 1), according to SSP Uttam Raj Subedi of Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu.
SSP Subedi says, “People involved in stealing the money from the Kathmandu-based banks by hacking ATM system were Chinese nationals. Meanwhile, some Nepali people were also indirectly involved in the crime.”
This is the latest high-profile cybercrime involving Chinese nationals that hit the headlines. Chinese nationals have been arrested time and again for various crimes in Nepal.
Chinese nationals’ involvement in gold smuggling
On August 5, Chinese national Li Ningxi had been arrested from TIA with four kilograms of gold smuggled into Nepal from Hong Kong.
In April 2019, three Chinese nationals were arrested from TIA while they were trying to smuggle three kilograms of gold into Nepal by concealing it in their rectum.
Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD), Kathmandu on September 14 2017, had recovered 88 kilograms of gold concealed inside the false bottom of a car parked outside a hotel at Chhetrapati, Kathmandu.
According to police, it was found that the gold belonged to a Chinese national Wang Yangming, who had been operating a hotel at Thamel. The gold was said to have been smuggled into Nepal through the Kerung route from China. But, Wang managed to escape.
Nepali women sold in China
A few weeks earlier, Human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police had arrested 10 people including six Nepalis and four Chinese nationals on the charge of trafficking Nepali women into China on the pretext of arranging Nepali brides for Chinese men.
According to police, those arrested have been identified as Zhen Xianjdong, Zhang Donghui, Quan Zhan Peng and Qin Liyang of Hubei Province, China, while their Nepal-based associates were identified as Parbati Gurung, Amrita Gurung, Rina Tamang Bibirani, Roj Tamang, Usha Ghimire, and Bharat Tamang.
Quan Zhan Peng and Qin Liyang are Chinese nationals who came to Kathmandu looking for Nepali brides.
Authorities said a Chinese human trafficker usually gets Rs 1 million for arranging a Nepali woman to marry a Chinese national while a Nepali agent operating from Kathmandu will receive Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 for a single arrangement.
Likewise, around Rs 80,000 will go to another agent who helps these traffickers to provide temporary shelter while the woman’s parents will receive Rs 50,000 to 60,000 from the Chinese.
Theft inside plane
On August 25, two Chinese nationals leaving for Istanbul through a flight of Turkish Airlines were arrested on the charge of theft inside an airplane.
The arrested are Ma Qiwei holding passport number EG-6842722 and Hu Xinzhong holding passport number EG-5742523.
They were arrested from TIA by a police team deployed from Airport Security Office of Nepal Police.
According to police, a woman from Denmark who had arrived in Kathmandu through a flight of Turkish Airlines had lodged a complaint with the police that her valuables were stolen mid-flight.
These are only the tip of the iceberg. Chinese involvement in gold and currency notes smuggling has gone up significantly following the 2015 mega earthquake in Nepal, police said.
The MPCD on January 14, 2017, arrested three Chinese nationals with foreign currency notes worth Rs 44 million at Thankot while they were preparing to sneak into Tibet via the route of Kerung.
Likewise, in November 2018, a Chinese national named as Ming Zhang was arrested with around US $3.5 million, 327,000 South Korean Won, and pound sterling 1,085 in Nepal.
Chinese nationals have also been arrested on the charge of smuggling valuable medicinal herbals, wildlife body parts from the Himalayan region.
Currently, a total of 14 Chinese nationals are serving jail-term in various prisons in Nepal, according to the records maintained by the Department of Prison Management.
According to Basudev Ghimire, director general at the Department, three among the cases are related to foreign notes smuggling while the two are related to gold smuggling.
Other cases include rape, fraud, robbery, drug trafficking, and wildlife body parts smuggling.
SP Uttam Raj Subedi said they had to undergo hassles during an investigation into the ATM hacking case involving Chinese nationals held recently owing to the language barrier and their names.