A GURKHA corporal in charge of young Nepalese recruits has appeared in court charged with fraud.

Surya Prakash Hanggam, 35, who was a corporal with Royal Gurkha Rifles, acting as an instructor for young recruits at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick Garrison early last year, has pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation in using his position to take money from the trainees.

Mr Hanggam, now based at Beckwith Green in Folkestone, Kent, appeared at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 15 and he will be sent to Teesside Crown Court on Monday, March 14 at 10am for sentencing.

Mr Hanggam is charged with taking £18,189.99 from 17 victims between February 28, 2015 and March 31, 2015 at Catterick Garrison.

An Army spokesman said he returned to his unit in Kent in May 2015.

He was granted unconditional bail until Monday, March 14.

The Royal Gurkha Rifles currently have a jungle role battalion permanently based in Brunei and a light role battalion in the UK.