34 Nepalis held in Costa Rica
Thirty-four Nepalis have been detained in Costa Rica as they were trying to illegally entry the country, local English newspaper Tico Times reported.
The Costa Rican National Police on Monday detained 27 Nepali migrant in the Paso Canoas community, along country’s border with Panama, it reported, adding that seven more Nepalis were arrested during a routine patrol near the central Pacific beach town of Jacó last Friday.
They were also suspected of trying to illegally entry Costa Rica.
The human smugglers were using Costa Rica as a transit point north from Panama to Nicaragua to take the migrants to the United States, the newspaper has quoted Costa Rican Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa as saying. “We have reports that these migrants usually arrive by sea to Ecuador and then continue their trips by land, mainly to the US,” Gamboa said, “We are tenaciously working to determine who is responsible for these local smuggling operations.”
The Nepalis were taken to a local health post for check up before being handed over to the immigration authorities, the Public Security Ministry said in its statement. “Investigation is underway as to how they entered the country,” it said, suspecting that the migrants crossed the southern border with the help of coyotes. “Once in Costa Rica, a car picked them up and dropped off to the other side of the country.”
The police has also detained the driver as a suspect in the smuggling of immigrants. “The undocumented immigrants were taken to immigration offices for interrogation,” the police added.
The Foreign Ministry in Nepal has, however, shoed ignorance on arrest of Nepalis. “If the information is true, the ministry can start a diplomatic process for their repatriation,” the ministry officials added.
Many Nepalis pay millions to unscrupulous agents to go to the US and European countries – also through illegal routes – despite plenty of risks.