5 February 2020 I A Nepalese television programme has claimed Australia is the biggest source country of illegal remittance to the South Asian nation.
Irony is, almost all Hundi (a remittance system which is illegal in Nepal) agents that cash in on the burgeoning Nepalese diaspora in the country may well be legally registered remittance companies in Australia. However, members of the Nepalese diaspora as well as media back in Nepal tend to believe that the remitted funds do not enter Nepal “legally”.
A handful of Hundi wholesalers, suspected to be based in Sydney, channel these remittances via a third country, it is widely believed. Although Hundi agents and retailers collect funds in Australia legitimately, by the time it is delivered in Nepal it could have passed through all manners of dark channels, money-laundering operations even, some believe.
That Hundi is rampant in Australia is evident from a number of reports on setopati.com, southasia.com.au, a plethora of media reports from Nepal as well as by a press release issued by the Victoria-based Nepal consulate.
According to the latest episode of live television programme Sidhakuara Janta Sanga broadcast Tuesday night, Nepal government data suggests that an estimated 4 billion rupees should ideally be received in remittance from Australia. However, the News24 programme claimed, only 2 percent of this expected remittance enters Nepal through the legal channel and suggested that the rest comes through Hundi businesses.
Yesterday’s episode of the Nepalese television programme interviewed the Consul General of Nepal in Victoria, Chandra Yonzon, who appeared to admit that he was in the know of the victims of a particular Hundi business in Melbourne, Everest View Travels and Tours. Mr Yonzon said that community leaders including himself were trying to find the best possible outcome (in recovering their funds) for victims of the Hundi agent.
It is believed that Everest View Travels and Tours owes over $400,000 to over three dozen customers in undelivered remittances; that is, the company collected funds from the vulnerable members of the diaspora but did not pass it on to the recipients in Nepal. It is suspected that the operator of the disgraced travel agency used the hard-earned money of the senders instead of making it available for desperate people waiting for the delivery of the funds back in Nepal.
The Nepalese community in Australia is currently rife with innuendoes around the Hundi “industry” with rumours of scores of victims.
One victim reportedly sent over $5000 to help out his father receiving emergency medical treatment but the money did not reach the victim even after his father was discharged from the hospital.
Other known victims include a heavily pregnant woman as well as a cash-strapped family who were about to lose their recently-bought house.
One particular victim told southasia.com.au that he had as much as $50,000 plus to recover from Everest View Travel and Tours that he said was transferred to the Melbourne Hundi agent mid-2019 to buy a property in Kathmandu.
this news article was updated 0936 hrs aest 6 february 2022