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Fact Check: Did Nepal Police Issue Arrest Warrant Against Nepali Congress MP Arzu Rana? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Arrest warrant issued against Nepali Congress MP Arzu Rana Deuba in Bhutanese refugee scam.
Fact
No, Nepal police has not issued an arrest warrant against Arzu Rana. The claim is false.

A video claiming that Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane has overturned the Bhutanese Refugee scam case and an arrest warrant has been issued against Nepali Congress (NC) member Member of Parliament (MP) Arzu Rana Deuba is going viral on TikTok.

Fake Bhutanese refugee scam is a corruption scandal involving some of the country’s top political leaders, who were involved in swindling millions of rupees from 875 Nepali to provide fake refugee documents that would qualify them to fly to the United States in the guise of Bhutanese refugees.

High-profile individuals including former Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand of the Nepali Congress and former Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi of the CPN-UML, Indrajit Rai, security adviser to former Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal, Tek Narayan Pandey, secretary at the Vice-President’s Office and former home secretary, were among those arrested in 2023 in the fake refugee case.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @sarumagar1010 posted a video carrying a collage of several images depicting Arzu Rana behind bars, Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane overturned the Bhutanese refugee scam case; arrest warrant has been issued against Arzu Rana.” Audio accompanying the video presented in a news bulletin style says, “Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane reversed the Bhutanese refugee case and an arrest warrant has been issued against Arzu Rana at 10am today. Home Minister Lamichhane expressed his commitment that he is ready to put his life on the line but won’t spare any corruption case.”

The video posted on May 21 has garnered 2732 likes, 254 users have commented and 54 users have shared it until the time of publishing this article. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker searched for the news regarding the arrest warrant against Nepali Congress MP Arzu Rana Deuba. However, we didn’t find any relevant reports published in the mainstream media.

We checked the latest status of Bhutanese Refugee scam and found an article, dated April 25, 2024, published on Annapurna Express. The article noted that the Supreme Court ordered the police administration to keep seven persons including CPN-UML leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi charged in the Bhutanese refugee scam in custody. However, former Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand was released after posting a bail amount of Rs 3 million in the same case.

We, then, looked up the verified Facebook page of Arzu Rana Deuba, who is also the wife of former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, and found that Rana has been regularly participating in international expert dialogue on mountains, and people, currently being held held in Kathmandu. She was doing a Facebook live session on May 23 where she stressed on the need to have a provision to hold the government accountable for the damage caused to the agriculture sector due to climate change.

Further, we reached Nepal Police DSP Hobindra Bogati, who is also the spokesperson for Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), who confirmed that no arrest warrant has been issued against Arzu Rana, and that the claim made in the viral video is false.

Thus, our findings showed that the claim made in the viral video is misleading.

Conclusion

No, Nepal Police has not issued an arrest warrant against Nepali Congress MP Arzu Rana. The viral video is misleading.

Result: False

Sources
Annapurna Express, April 25, 2024
Facebook Page of Arzu Rana
Direct Contact with CIB Spokesperson Hobindra Bogati


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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