Nepal detains 122 Chinese who entered on tourist visa for suspected cyber crime, bank fraud

The Chinese embassy knew of the raids and had supported the detention of the suspects

Nepal has detained 122 Chinese nationals on suspicion that the detainees, who had entered Nepal on tourist visa, were involved in cyber crimes and bank frauds. This is first such major crackdown on foreigners, in which a large number of foreign nationals have been arrested in the Himalayan nation. The detainees are lodged in different police stations, said the chief of police of capital Kathmandu in a statement on Tuesday, Dec. 24.

Nepalese petrol tankers heading to the Chinese border of Kerung are pictured on a road on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal November 2, 2015.
Representational Image Reuters

Raids and detentions

The Nepalese authorities, on Monday, embarked on a widespread raid, to track those involved in suspicious activities. 122 Chinese, both men and women, were detained in the process. This is described as the biggest crackdown on foreign nationals, who entered Nepal on tourist visa, authorities announced on Tuesday.

"This is the first time that so many foreigners have been detained for suspected criminal activities," authorities said. The Kathmandu chief of police, Uttam Subed, said that those detained are suspected to be involved in cyber crime and hacking operations on bank ATM or cash machines. They are being held in different police stations with their passports and laptops seized, Subed informed.

China embassy silent

Chinese embassy in Kathmandu hasn't yet spoken on the issue, Reuters reported. But senior police officer Hobindra Bogati said that the embassy knew about the raids and had supported the detention of the suspects. Nepal and China had signed a treaty on mutual assistance in criminal matters, during Chinese President Xi's visit in October this year.

According to Nepal Tourism Board data, more than 134,000 Chinese tourists visited Nepal between January and October this year. Nepal shares its 1,414 km long northern borders with China. Last week, 342 Chinese nationals were detained in Philippines, over unlicensed gambling operation.

In October, Mongolia arrested as many as 800 Chinese nationals over cyber crime allegations. More than 200 Chinese nationals were held in Philippines in September, over online investment