Australian company employing 5 foreigners illegally in Nepal

Susheel Bhattarai

KATHMANDU, Feb 11: Five foreigners have been found to be working as senior management officials in five-star Tiger Palace Resort being developed in Nepal with foreign investment without taking work permit.

The foreigners, who arrived in Nepal on free visas, have been working at the casino of Tiger Palace situated at Tilottama Municipality-17, Kotihawa, Rupandehi, for the last six months, sources said. They hold senior positions ranging from manager to general manager of the company.
 
Nepal’s laws have made it mandatory for foreigners to take work permit before starting working in an organization in the country. The five foreign nationals working at the casino of Tiger Palace, however, haven’t taken a work permit. 
 
The immigration department has been investigating their status for the last couple of days, said the sources. 
 
Australia-based multinational company Silver Heritage Group has invested Rs 5.20 billion in the Tiger Palace Resort and its casino. Silver Heritage Investment Pvt Ltd is its Nepal-based partner organization. The same group has been running Casino Millionaires Club in Kathmandu.
 
Those working at the casino without taking the work permit are Paul Simmons of Britain, Anthony Charles Jackson of Australia, Rami Obeid of Russia, Kevin John Wilcocks of Australia and Victorio JR Fababier of the Philippines.
 
Of them, Paul is the casino’s vice-chairperson, Anthony and Kevin are general managers, Rami is the food and beverage manager and Victorio is a manager. 
 
“There are competent human resources in sufficient number in Nepal. If a foreigner comes to Nepal, the person should work legally only after taking the work permit and quit the job after transferring the expertise,” Rajendra Bajgain, chairman of Tiger Palace Resort and the casino and Nepal-based Silver Heritage Investment Pvt Ltd, told Republica. “I have repeatedly talked to the casino’s chief executive officer Mike Bolsover regarding the matter. However, he has been ignoring it.” 
 
Sources at the casino told Republica that those five foreigners working illegally at the casino have been drawing their salaries from its Hong Kong office and the casino has been providing them all other perks and incentives here in the country.
 
“We have been consistently trying to lobby for the recruitment of only Nepali citizens at the casino. However the CEO Mike has rejected this idea,” said Bajgain.
 
Silver Heritage Group is a company listed in Sidney Stock Exchange in Australia. The company has announced to invest Rs 10 billion in Nepal, with plans to increase it to up to Rs 30 billion.
 
Published: 11 February 2018/ My Republica