Bengaluru: 107 Africans arrested for overstaying

BENGALURU: The Bengaluru police in a joint operation with officials of the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) arrested 107 African nationals for violating visa conditions and overstaying in the Whitefield, East and North-east divisions early on Saturday morning.    The raids were conducted at several places in all the three divisions and continued till evening. The teams arrested six Nigerians for possession of 650 gm of marijuana, 60 gm of cocaine and 10 gm of LSD.

Five inspectors leading a team of 120 policemen launched the raids around 5.45 am at T.C. Palya, Brindavan Layout, Sigehalli, Priyanka Nagar, Anandpura, Margondanahalli and other places located in K.R. Puram police limits.  Deputy Commissioner of Police (Whitefield) Abdul Ahad said that the raids were conducted as inputs from FRRO officials showed that foreign nationals were staying illegally. Cases were booked against these foreign nationals and they were sent to judicial custody. FRRO will take a decision on deporting them. The police are also contemplating booking cases against the landlords for renting out houses to foreign nationals without following the due procedure.

“House owners who rent out their buildings should follow certain rules and regulations while choosing foreign nationals as tenants. The owners have to take copies of their passports and visas and inform the local police station. But they did not follow these norms,” Mr Ahad said. Inquiries revealed that two of the arrested were not only overstaying, but were also wanted by Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials in cases related to NDPS Act. Police sources said that most of the detained are from Nigeria and Uganda and had come to India on study and business visas but overstayed, hoodwinking the officials. 

The FRRO officials collected details of foreigners overstaying in and around the state from various sources, including colleges where they had got admission, a senior police officer said.  The police suspect that once their visas get expired, African nationals get involved with drug cartels and act as carriers. “Most of the Nigerian or Ugandan nationals get onto online frauds. They also get caught for drinking and driving and drugs,” said a police officer. An official from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) claimed that Nigerians play the role of carriers, especially cocaine, from one country to another.  

Booked under Foreigners’ Act
Deputy Commissioner of Police Abdul Ahad said that 107 people were arrested across three divisions, on Saturday and were booked under Foreigner's Act. While Northeast division arrested the maximum number of 50 people, Whitefield division had 25 people, followed by East division with 32 arrests. 

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