34 Nepalis held in Costa Rica

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2014-

Thirty-four Nepalis have been detained in Costa Rica on suspicion of the illegal entry into the country, local English newspaper Tico Times reported on its website.

The Costa Rican National Police on Monday detained 27 Nepali migrant in the Paso Canoas community, along country’s border with Panama. Seven more Nepalis were arrested during a routine patrol near the central Pacific beach town of Jacó last Friday.

The human smugglers were using Costa Rica as a transit point north from Panama to Nicaragua to take the migrants to the United States, the newspaper has quoted Costa Rican Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa as saying. “We have reports that these migrants usually arrive by sea to Ecuador and then continue their trips by land, mainly to the United States. We are tenaciously working to determine who is responsible for these local [smuggling] operations,” Gamboa said.

The Nepali men were taken to a local health clinic for evaluation and then handed over to the immigration authorities, the Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

“Investigation is underway as to how they entered the country. It is presumed that they crossed the southern border with the help of coyotes. Once in Costa Rica, a car picked them up and dropped off to the other side of the country,” it added.

The ministry said that police had also detained the driver as a suspect in the smuggling of immigrants.

“All undocumented immigrants were taken to immigration offices for interrogation to determine their immigration status.”

The Foreign Ministry in Nepal said it has not received any formal information about the arrest, but added that it could start a diplomatic process for their repatriation.

Officials at the Department of Foreign Employment said that many gullible workers are paying millions of rupees to unscrupulous agents to go to the United States and European countries despite plenty of risks involved in the process.

“We are not in a position to do anything as these people readily trust smugglers despite their knowledge of the risks involved,” said Badri Karki, DoFE spokesperson.

Published: 11-09-2014 08:58

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