A South African national, who was caught while attempting to scale the Mt Everest without paying the permit fee, will face a ban on climbing for five years in Nepal besides a fine of USD 22,000, officials said today. However, it could take some time for the Nepal government to formally announce the decision. Gyanendra Shrestha, an official with the Department of Tourism, caught Ryan Sean Davy, 43, while he was climbing above the mountain's base camp on Saturday. He has already been brought to Kathmandu for action for the offence, a senior officer at the Department said. "His passport has been confiscated and he will most likely face a ban on climbing in Nepal for five years," said the official. He has apologised.
It is extremely rare for someone to attempt climbing Everest by themselves. Under the current provisions, tourists who go on a mountain expedition without the government permit face fines twice the amount of the expedition fee. Foreigners are charged USD 11,000 fee to climb the world's highest peak with an altitude of 8848-metre. Davy had only taken the permit for trekking in the Khumbu region, which does not permit him to be involved in any kind of mountain climb. Mountaineering royalty is one of the major sources of foreign currency for Nepal, whose economy is largely dependent on tourism industry.
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