HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nine Nepali students attending Kansas State University in United States have been indicted on the charges of visa fraud by the Attorney’s Office in Kansas.
Kansas District Attorney Barry Grissom confirmed that nine Nepalis‚ aged between 32-43‚ were indicted by a grand jury on the charge of conspiracy to maintain their non-immigrant visas by furnishing false bank statements to pursue their course of study in the University.
The names of the students are: Mahendra Thapa‚ 33‚ Khem Acharya‚ 41‚ Raj Kumar Dani‚ 37‚ Santosh Ghimire‚ 37‚ Lila Ballav Pandey‚ 41‚ Laxman Pokharel‚ 37‚ Keshar Prasain‚ 38‚ Govinda Paneru‚ 32‚ and Narayan Chapagain‚ 43.
All of them have been charged with at least one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and one to four counts of other visa related frauds.
If convicted‚ each of the defendants faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250‚000 on each count.
However‚ in all cases‚ defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. According to the Attorney’s Office‚ the indictment alleges that from the fall of 2008 all nine students obtained temporary possession of financial resources for the purpose of obtaining statements from financial institutions to support their false claims that each personally had the needed funds.
“Each of the students temporarily obtained funds from fellow Nepali students and deposited the funds in their bank accounts‚” it stated. “After obtaining a notarised bank letter‚ they returned the funds to other students.”
Talking to THT‚ Ambassador of Nepal to the United States‚ Shankar Prasad Sharma said he did not know whether the Nepali mission in Washington DC would approach and consult US officials. “I will talk and inquire about it when office opens today‚” Ambassador Sharma‚ who is visiting the South western state of New Mexico‚ told THT over phone.