A financial scam involving a Melbourne based Travel company will be taken to the police. Several victims had come forward alleging that Everest View Travels, a travel company from Melbourne had swindled them of thousands of dollars – many victims had transferred amounts to be sent via HUNDI while many complained the travel company issued fake tickets. The financial fraud by the travel company stands around AUD 400,000.
The decision to adopt legal channels was arrived upon on Thursday, after a meeting between victims and community leaders. Hon. Consul of Nepal to Chandra Yonzon, during the meeting said that since both the victims and the perpetator were of Nepalese origin, his office and NRN Australia were trying to mediate the problem internally – however, after Ramjee Poudel, owner of Everest View Travels refused to come forward and talk about the issue, there was no other option but to seek legal means. It is also important to remind the public that Ramjee Poudel’s change of mind was a fresh change, earlier he was in communication with community leaders who were looking to solve the case.
The meeting which was held on Thursday was in attendance of several victims and was mediated by community leader Deepa Rai, NRN Australia President Keshav Kandel, President of Australia Nepalese Multicultural Society and respected doctor Chandra Deepak Pokhrel, senior community member Jog Limbu amongst others. Victims asked the whereabouts of their money, and how they could retrieve it back – but there was no one representing Everest View Travels at the meeting. The leaders also said it was best the victims themselves reach out to the police.
Tonnou Ghothane, Principal Lawyer at Ghothane Lawyers and ex-President of NRN Australia will be legally advising the victims about their rights and interests – Consulate Office of Nepal to Victoria and NRN Australia have also pledged their unwavering support.
Consul General Yonzon also clarfied earlier media reports by a popular Nepali show which alleged his role being suspicious – he said the media report misrepresented his words, and despite him talking to them at 3 a.m. in the morning to the local show, he was unable to change the impression. He reaffirmed his commitment to the victims, and his office has also released a Press Release:
Respected members of the media.
This Press Release is being issued as a response to recent media allegations about the Consulate General of Nepal to Victoria and its Honorary Consul General Chandra Yonzon. The Press Release will deny the charges leveled against the Consulate Office and its Consul General.
On February 5, 2020, a TV program broadcasted from Nepal by a popular media channel, while covering recent developments about a HUNDI scam affecting the Nepali community in Australia said the Consul General’s role to be ‘suspicious’. The allegations are unfounded, lack follow up investigation with the Consulate Office, and are untrue – nevertheless, the allegations could lead members of the community to be misled, hence the clarifications:
- The Consulate Office of Nepal to Victoria is committed in its work towards the interests of all Nepalis residing in Victoria.
- In context of the financial fraud and involvement in the illegal practice of HUNDI, both the victims and the perpetrator are of Nepali origin – therefore the role of the Consulate Office is to mediate the situation towards the best possible outcome.
- Our first demand is that the entire amount of money collected from the victims is to be returned.
- Should the victims be interested in reaching out to the police or pursuing other legal channels, they are entitled to do so, and the Consulate Office has imposed no restrictions upon their free will.
- Efforts of the Consulate General’s Office of Nepal to Victoria, NRNA Australia, and Nepalese Association of Victoria are continuous and unrelenting in the matter.
- Our objective is to recover the amount paid by the victims – for that purpose our office will have to mediate between the victims and the perpetrator. The situation also demands patience from all parties.
- If a business claims bankruptcy owing to financial loss, the victims could lose their entire sum of money. We are therefore approaching the issue with caution, so as the amount owing to victims is paid.
- In Australia, if a business is registered in AUSTRAC, it is legally allowed to operate a remittance business, and do transactions for the same. The company who has been on the large has said it is registered in AUSTRAC.
- HUNDI is illegal in Nepal. One should not practice the system in Nepal. If one is found to be involved in the illegal practice, Nepal has certain legal provisions for the same.
Consul General of Nepal to Victoria, Chandra Yonzon was unaware of the contents of the program that was scheduled to be broadcasted on the day. The organizing team of the TV program reached out to the Consulate General’s office multiple times, at 3 a.m. local time in Australia. Hon. Consul General Chandra Yonzon is saddened to hear the allegations, and despite his efforts to clarify details about the case at 3 a.m. in the morning, his points were perceived as a debate of good or bad – wherein, he attempted to present a factual observation.
Should you wish to learn more about the case, or its development, you can contact our office. We are willing to furnish all details.
You can email us at [email protected] or call us at +61 3 9650 8338.
Consulate General of Nepal