[www.inewsguyana.com] –The Ministry of Home Affairs says that it believes that the 12 Nepalese nationals are suspected to be victims of Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
A release from the Ministry on Wednesday, March 18 noted that the majority of these individuals were housed in the Tourist Resort Hotel with their rooms padlocked from the outside when they first arrived in November 2014.
According to the Ministry, the Hotel operator refused to reveal why the doors were locked in such a manner which added to the suspicion that these individuals reportedly did not know when they were scheduled to depart Mabaruma, or Guyana for that matter, and claimed to be tourists but did not engage in tourist related activities.
“More revealing was the fact that the Nepalese Nationals were not employed in Mabaruma yet their rooms were paid for in cash each day, using US currency,” said the release.
“Based on these details regarding the conduct of a number of Nepalese Nationals in Guyana and their travel patterns compared with the case involving Nepalese Nationals in the High Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs has concluded that these individuals were intended to be victims of trafficking in persons,” said the Home Affairs Ministry.
The release noted that the officials are aware of and concerned about the large numbers of Nepalese travelling to Guyana and their purposes for travelling. The Ministry has received intelligence which indicated that from October 14-17, 2014 a group of fourteen Nepalese Nationals – ten males and four females – were encountered in Mabaruma, Region 1, dwelling in two hotels.
It was also noted that the individuals initially arrived in Guyana legally in November, 2014. Four of them were granted two weeks stay in the country while six were granted three weeks, and two were given one month.
However, the individuals left Guyana illegally during this period of and were intercepted in Venezuela where they were deported to Guyana – their last port-of-entry.
The Ministry did not state whether the persons would be deported back to Nepal or whether they were to remain in Guyana. In December 2014, iNews had reported that the nationals were remanded to prison for illegally departing Guyana and were fined $30,000 each after changing their plea to guilty.
The charge against Nebrew Sherpa, Shankar Shapota, Benod Jeshe, Prakesh Adi-Khan, Tengi Sherpa, Tengi Cherping, Seetang Goorung, Danraj Timsena, Villey Pouden, Kunjab Guruaging, Cunja Goorung and Prakesh Nipali is that on November 15, at Charity, Essequibo, they departed Guyana without presenting themselves to an immigration officer.