KATHMANDU – A Malaysian tourist has been reported missing since Sunday (Malaysia is two hours, 15 minutes ahead of Nepal) while trekking in the Pokhara-Mustang route in Western Nepal.
Nepal Deputy Inspector-General of Police Pankaj Shrestha said Dennis Lee Thian Poh, 47, was last seen on Sunday in Ghorepani, Myagdi district, about 450km north-west of Kathmandu.
Two search and rescue (SAR) teams, aided by a helicopter and sniffer dogs were despatched to locate Leeâ€™s whereabouts, he said today.
â€œA search is underway in the entire route from Pokhara to Mustang but the focus is on areas between Gandhruk and Ghorepani,â€ added Shrestha.
Lee arrived in Kathmandu on March 29, and was trekking with a group from the Holiday Tibet Trekking Company.
â€œDennis (Lee) was alone walking ahead of his trekking group and no one noticed that he was lost till they arrived at their campsite,â€ SAR Dogs Nepal, a search and rescue company, said in its website with a notice of his disappearance.
â€œTwo teams have been dispatched for the search but only a walking team is moving ahead as aerial search has been hampered due to bad weather,â€ said SAR Dogs Nepal director Jit Bahadur Masrangi.
â€œ(The) Helicopter has not been able to fly to the areas as (the) sky is foggy,â€ he said.
Lee’s wife, Jennifer E Peteras has arrived in Kathmandu and is coordinating the search. â€œI am not in a position to say anything now as I have just arrived, and am going to the areas with the search team,â€ Peteras told Bernama in a brief telephone conversation.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Embassy in Katmandu (Nepal), in confirming the report said the relevant Nepalese authorities had communicated with the embassy regarding the incident since Monday night.
The embassy’s Counsellor/Charge d’Affaires ad interim (a.i) Fadli Adilah said Lee had yet to be found.
“We are constantly in touch with the relevant authorities,” he told Bernama in a telephone interview. – BERNAMA