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Nepalese rescues under government scrutiny
As the result of a 90-day government investigation into fraud in Nepal that has caused at least one tourist death and defrauded millions of dollars from travel insurance companies - a new directive has been issued.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has appointed a Special Committee to oversee all helicopter rescues and medical treatment of tourists in Nepal. Helicopter companies, trekking organisations and hospitals will be required to submit their invoices within 10-days to the Tourist Search and Rescue Committee, who will share it with the Tourist Police and Department of Tourism.
Under pressure from travel insurers who set a September 1st deadline for the ministry to take action to stop the fraud - or risk insurers pulling out of Nepal - at the eleventh hour the ministry signed the directive in what is hoped is a positive step forward in tackling the fraud.
“This investigation was triggered by Traveller Assist earlier this year as a result of our own investigation into why the 2017 spring climbing season was the most expensive on record for insurers. The sheer scale of fraud and corruption in Nepal is so widespread that even if a company isn’t involved in it, they are well aware that it happens.” Said Jonathan Bancroft, Managing Director of Traveller Assist
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