Spanish police claim Malta is access point for Nepalese on false visa

Operation Everest in Spain dismantles trafficking business that provided fraudulent type-D visas from European consultancies in India to give Nepal workers Schengen access

Europol headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands (File photo)
Europol headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands (File photo)

Nepalese citizens in Spain have been arrested in a joint Europol investigation to track down clandestine entrants and other visa overstayers.

Malta and Poland are the two main access points for migrant workers from Nepal, who access the Schengen zone, stay for a minimum necessary time until they can get a second transfer by air to Spain, their final destination.

Operation Everest was launched in November 2022 when Spanish police dismantled a group that introduced Indians and Nepalis into Spain, who were ultimately planning to travel to the United States via Mexico.

A joint operation with Europol led to the arrest of nine people who are suspected of having enabled the travel of 300 Nepali citizens to Europe, through fraudulent visas issued in India.

The price for the trip is believed to cost €15,000, and then an additional €5,00 for onward passage to Spain and to pass the necessary tests to obtain citizenship there.

The now dismantled network, led by a family with branches in India, Nepal, Lithuania and Poland, would obtaining fraudulent type-D visas from European consultancies in India, which authorise people to reside, study or work in the Schengen area for a period of over 90 days.

But this operation was premised on the participation of Nepalese and European companies providing false offers of work and studies, which were never made effective, and on which the granting of visas was based, the Spanish police said.

In Spain, in collusion with some Spanish language schools, these traffickers facilitated exam questions or falsified the completion of tests with so that their Nepalese ‘clients’ would be issued with certificates and diplomas required to obtain Spanish nationality.