An Indian couple are under investigation by Nepalese authorities amid allegations they doctored photographs of themselves to support false claims they reached the summit of Mount Everest.
Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, who are both police constables in the Indian state of Maharashtra, are accused of using another mountaineer’s photographs in order to gain official climber certificates.
One man has submitted what he claims are the unaltered photos from the top of the summit, which show the same people in the background but no sign of Mr and Mrs Rathod.
Although the alleged fraud does not amount to a criminal offence, the Nepalese government could decide to revoke their certificates and ban them from mountaineering in the country for at least 10 years.
Nepal’s tourism chief, Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, said his department had spoken to the expedition’s organisers and officials stationed at Everest base camp before validating the couple’s certificates.
尼泊尔旅游局局长Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal表示，在给这对夫妇颁发证书前，旅游局有向探险组织和珠峰大本营驻地工作人员确认过。
He added: “In order to provide a certificate to the climber, we rely on their photograph on top of Mount Everest … If someone fakes their photos, it’s hard to determine that they are not original.”
Eight climbers have filed complaints against Mr and Mrs Rathod - and say such fraudulent claims belittle the achievements of genuine mountaineers who reach the 8,848m (29,029ft) summit.
The Rathods could not be reached for comment.
Following two years of deadly disasters on the mountain, including an earthquake and multiple avalanches, a total of 456 people managed to scale the world’s highest mountain this year.