KATHMANDU, Aug 11: The government with help from International Organization for Migration (IOM) has recued 12 of the nearly two dozen Nepalis stranded in the African nation of Madagascar for the past five months.
The rescued Nepalis had been taken there by unscrupulous manpower agents promising to find them lucrative jobs.
While six of the stranded Nepalis arrived in Kathmandu by Qatar Airways flight Friday night, the remaining six will arrive in Kathmandu by Nepal Airlines flight from Malaysia Saturday morning, said spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Arjun Bahadur Thapa.
IOM had borne the ticket expenses for six persons who arrived Friday evening. Likewise, the airfare expense of six others has been paid by the government. “Nearly two dozen Nepalis have been stranded in Madagascar for the past few months. The government is putting in all efforts to rescue them,” said an official at MoFA.
The victims said one Sunil Shahi had taken them to Madagascar with the promise of finding a job that would fetch a minimum of US $ 600 a month. After reaching Madagascar, Shahi had seized their passports saying that he needed to extend the visa and left the victims in the lurch.
Local police detained Shahi after the victims filed a complaint with the police, according to the victims.
Amid media reports that over 50 Nepalis have been left stranded in Madagascar, MoFA had directed Nepali mission in South Africa to take necessary initiatives to rescue the stranded Nepalis. Nepal neither has established diplomatic relations with Madagascar nor has recognized this African country as a labor destination yet.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepalese Embassy in South Africa Bharat Regmi had reached Madagascar after establishing contact with the Madagascar embassy based in South Africa through diplomatic channels.
As per the request of MoFA, the finance ministry had released a total Rs 7.5 million to rescue the Nepalis stranded there.