Kathmandu. The number of foreigners confined to Nepali prisons for their involvement in criminal activities is on the rise, statistics released by the Department of Prison Management show.
According to data — as of November 15, a total of 1,213 foreign nationals are serving jail sentences or awaiting final court verdict in 49 prisons across the country. The DoPM said the number of foreigners doing time in Nepali prisons has gone up.
The country has 74 prisons in 72 of 77 districts.
Sundhara-based Central Jail houses the largest number of foreign jailbirds – 207. Similarly, Parsa district prison has 201 persons, Nakkhu Jail 126, Makawanpur 77, Sunsari 76, Morang 66, Jhapa 57, Banke 41, Rautahat, Kaski and Mahottari have 27 each, Dillibazar Prison 24, Chitwan 23, Kailali and Rupandehi 22 each, Kapilvastu 21, Saptari 17 and Dhading 15. The remaining prisons had recorded the presence of foreign jailbirds ranging from 1 to 13.
“The increasing number of foreigners in jails indicates the impact of transnational crime on Nepal. Many drug smugglers were found making Nepal their transit point to push contraband into various countries,” the DoPM said.
Any foreign national, who commits crime on Nepali soil, is liable to fine and jail sentence as per the existing laws of the country. These foreigners are serving jail terms for their involvement in drug smuggling, human trafficking, banking offence, smuggling of fake currency notes, fraud, lottery scam, wildlife crime, paedophilia, gold smuggling and dealing in wildlife body parts, cybercrime, rape, murder, forgery of passports and citizenship certificates.
Most foreigners doing time are Indians, Chinese, Bhutanese, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Tanzanians, Africans, French, Canadians, Romanians and Bulgarians, among others. They were either convicted or sent to jail until the final verdict of the courts concerned.
Statistics show the population of foreign inmates increasing every year, with more foreigners engaged in transnational crime making Nepal their transit point.