Suspected Human Trafficking

by Linda Straker

Police have confirmed that seven students from Nepal, who are from a group of Asians that have been left practically stranded in St Lucia with an alleged case of human trafficking, are presently in custody in Grenada.

Without providing much details, Police said that the students who left behind their travel documents with Police in St Lucia, arrived in Grenada by boat on Tuesday night. Police have also confirmed that a Ghanaian national who is reportedly a resident of Trinidad is also in police custody, assisting with investigations. He entered the island via a flight from Trinidad, and police investigations revealed that he was scheduled to meet the students.

The seven students detained have been identified as Dipak Sapkota, 22; Chandra Bahadur Thapa, 22; Ankit Dhakal,18; Pradip Adhikari, 23; Dipak Bhujel, 20; Sharma Kafle-Arjun, 32; and Numkala Tiwari, 20.

The seven are from a group who claimed that they had responded to an offer of education in hospitality, cruise and business management, from Lambirds Academy which is based in northern town of Gros Islet in St Lucia. Since their arrival in St Lucia, four men, including three from India, are facing human trafficking charges, after the authorities uncovered the alleged scam that brought more than 20 young people there from Nepal and the Philippines.

The Asians said that they each paid US$9,000 for the courses, and US$13,000 each to get to St Lucia — but on arrival they were told by law enforcement authorities that they had been duped. Some of the students have returned to their home with the assistance of the International Organization of Migration.

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