Suruchi Bhujel, who swindled more than 90 people using the signature of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has been sentenced to jail. The Kathmandu District Court issued the imprisonment order on Monday, sending her to prison. Bhujel had collected over NPR 25 million from victims by promising them opportunities in Turkey through the United Nations.
Last month, Bhujel was apprehended by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CIB) of the police. The court, following a case filed by the District Public Prosecutor’s Office, ordered her detention on Sunday.
Bhujel and her accomplices lured individuals by claiming they could secure them jobs through the United Nations for the reconstruction of earthquake-affected cities in Turkey. To gain their trust, they presented them with a fake job offer signed by Secretary-General Guterres himself. The victims, numbering 90, filed a complaint with the CIB, alleging that they had been defrauded of NPR 25,979,500. CIB Spokesperson SP Navraj Adhikari explained that after a thorough investigation, a case was filed through the public prosecutor, seeking a sentence of up to seven years.
The police have also initiated legal proceedings against Suruchi’s husband, Vinod Shrestha, and her brother, Sujan Bhujel, both of whom remain at large. Vinod is believed to have played a key role in orchestrating the fraud.
According to statements from the victims, the con artists presented a fabricated offer letter on the letterhead of UN Turkey, purportedly signed by UN Secretary-General Guterres. Relying on this letter, the victims handed over their money. The fraudsters claimed the victims would earn $1,400 per month and had the possibility of obtaining permanent residency. Some individuals paid up to NPR 400,000.
After remitting the funds, the fraudsters provided the victims with fake eVisas. Subsequently, when Shrestha absconded, the victims turned to the police for help. As most of the transactions were conducted through Suruchi’s bank account, the police arrested and charged her.