Shillong: In a span of four days, the East Jaintia Hills police have made an arrest of 14 Nigerian nationals during checking at different places of the district in Meghalaya.
“As far as the investigation was carried out, they have been entering India illegally and they may even be involved in cyber crimes too. As of now, there is no link with drug trafficking but that can’t be ruled out. One of the arrested also has a criminal case in Goa and we are now following up on the case,” said East Jaintia Hills superintendent of police (SP) Vivekanand Singh.
The arrested Nigerian nationals did not enter Meghalaya directly said Singh. “Of the 14, 13 entered the state through Tripura. They then travelled by road to Silchar and boarded a bus to Guwahati. Most probably, they were moving towards New Delhi, Goa or Mumbai. We suspect the remaining person must have entered from Assam,” the SP added.
All the 14 arrested were trying to enter India illegally, via Bangladesh. Of the 14, 12 were found holding a Nigerian passport, one an Ivory Coast passport, while the last person had no passport with him.
The police, who have been on their toes curtailing drug trafficking, detained three foreign nationals on Friday, after they failed to present their passports. After interrogation, they then presented their passports which were hidden inside their shoes. The passports presented had no Indian visa stamp on it. The trio then mentioned that they had flown to Dhaka and had travelled to the bordering areas by road and were later assisted by some people to cross over to India.
After the incident, the police were alerted and they started conducting round the clock checking. The following night, another six were arrested, followed by three others the night after.
According to the police, the arrested persons, aged between 20 and 40 years, were found to be educated and were well-versed in English language. They were booked under Foreigner’s Act.
Meanwhile, SP Vivekanand Singh is in touch with his counterparts in Goa and has received the documents and details about the case of one of the persons with a criminal case for overstaying in Goa.