7 of 16 Nepalis detained in Micronesia rescued

  • Were left in the island nation by human traffickers in Nov 2014

Jun 29, 2016-

Seven of the 16 Nepali people who had been detained by the authorities in the Federated States of Micronesia 18 months ago returned home at the initiative of the Embassy of Nepal in Malaysia last week. 

The remaining nine have sought asylum in the island nation of the western Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Guinea, and they are currently under the care of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  

Officials at the Embassy of Nepal in Malaysia said the release of seven Nepalis was secured with IOM’s help. 

The sixteen Nepalis were detained in Yap—located in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, and a part of the Federated States of Micronesia—after they were found in Yap waters with no travel documents in November 2014. They were apparently on their way to the US, Australia and some European countries for which they had taken help of human traffickers. 

The embassy had learned about the incident only in March this year. “After learning about the incident, we reached Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where officials from Micronesia also had arrived,” said Uttam Kumar Shahi, an official at the embassy. According to Shahi, they had paid between Rs 600,000 to Rs 800,000 each to the traffickers who had fled after taking them to Micronesia. 

Human traffickers have been known to use countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand as stopovers to “smuggle” Nepalis to different countries. However, this is the first instance of Nepalis being trafficked through Micronesia. The rescued Nepalis are Basanta Bahadur Darlami of Palpa; Prabin Lama, Syamlung Tamang and Jayram Waiba of Chitwan; Som Bahadur Lama Thing of Makawanpur; Sanjiv Rai of Ilam and Amit Kumar Shah of Dhanusha. 

Published: 29-06-2016 08:52

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