Population of foreign inmates on the rise

February 22, 2018

The Himalayan Times, February 22, 2018

The number of foreign prisoners doing time in Nepali jails is on the rise, according to statistics of Department of Prison Management.

Statistics show that the population size of foreign inmates are increasing every year, with more foreigners getting involved in transnational crimes making Nepal their transit point.

A total of 1,075 foreign nationals were serving sentences for various crimes in 33 prisons across the country as of mid-January compared to 996 during the corresponding period in 2017 and 850 in 2016.

Any foreign national, who commits criminal offence on Nepali soil, is liable to fine and jail sentence as per the existing laws of the country. Majority of foreign jailbirds serving their sentences were either convicted of or are on judicial remand for their involvement in drug smuggling, human trafficking, banking offence, smuggling of fake currency notes, fraud, murder, forgery of passport and citizenship certificate.

The population of Indians, Bhutanese, Chinese, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nigerians, Tanzanians, Africans, French, Romanians and Bulgarians, among others, is higher.

Nearly 50 per cent of jailbirds are Indians due to Nepal’’s open border with India and their free cross-border movement, said a DoTM official.

Most of the Pakistanis were jailed for carrying fake bank notes, forged passports and drug trafficking. Similarly, a large number of Bangladeshis were found involved in citizenship and passport forgery whereas Chinese were convicted of smuggling gold, US dollars and herbs.

Of the total foreign inmates and prisoners, Parsa District Jail houses the highest 220 of such jailbirds. Similarly, 198 are in Central Jail, 75 in Jhapa, 72 in Sunsari, 62 in Nakhu Jail (Lalitpur), 61 in Banke, 53 in Makwanpur and 40 in Morang, among others. The country has 74 prisons in 72 of 75 districts. Bhaktapur, Bara and Dhanusha districts do not have any prison, while Kathmandu and Dang have two prisons each.