The Kathmandu District Court has ordered to send all but two of 18 persons arrested over the fake Bhutanese refugees scam.

The order means Nepali Congress (NC) leader Bal Krishna Khand, CPN-UML leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and others will be kept in custody while the case progresses ahead.

Kathmandu District Court Judge Prem Prasad Neupane has ordered all the accused be sent to judicial custody except Tanka Gurung and Laxmi Maharjan who have been ordered to be released on bail of Rs 1 million and Rs 500,000 respectively.

Public prosecutors had demanded that the defendants be sent to judicial custody pointing that they could destroy evidence if released on bail or general date.

The District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, has made 30 individuals defendants in the case. Eighteen of them have already been arrested while 12 others are still at large.

Those absconding are Keshav Tuladhar of Kathmandu, Ashok Pokharel of Itahari, Dhiren Rai of Morang, Deepa Humagain of Lalitpur, Indrajit Rai’s son Niraj Rai, Rajesh Aryal, Mohan Raj Rai of Panchthar, Ashish Budhathoki of Kathmandu, Binita Sawaden Limbu of Morang, Niranjan Kumar Kharel of Rautahat, Sunil Budhathoki of Jhapa, and former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s son Prateek.

The DGAO had filed cases of fraud, organized crime, forgery and offense against the state against them on May 24 on the basis of the investigation report submitted by the police.

Police had produced 16 people arrested in the scam along with their investigation report. They had named 14 others as absconding defendants in the case. Laxmi Maharjan, 32, of Lalitpur was arrested after that and produced before the court while her husband Hari Bhakta appeared in court after that.

Keshav Dulal, Sanu Bhandari, Tanka Kumar Gurung, Sandesh Gurung, Sagar Rai, Tek Narayan Pandey, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and his son Sandeep, Indrajit Rai, Bal Krishna Khand and his personal secretary Narendra KC, Ang Tawa Sherpa, Ram Sharan KC, Govinda Chaudhary, Shamsher Miya, Tek Nath Rizal, Laxmi Maharjan and Hari Bhakta Maharjan have been arrested in connection with the scam so far.

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