Foreigners overstay as monitoring weak

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad police arrested Mohammed Yagoub Mohamed Ali, a Sudan national, in November last with MDMA. He has been staying in the city on a student visa which he had secured in 2012 and has long since expired.

Further, he had arrested by the Cyberabad and Rachakonda police for drug smuggling. After coming out on bail in the latest case, he relocated to Mumbai to evade the local police.

Had his illegal stay been reported to the agencies dealing with overstaying foreign nationals, the possibility of him indulging in crime would have been prevented.

Cheruiyot Shyline Jeptoo, a Kenyan woman, came to India on a tourist visa in 2021 and did not go back even after it had lapsed. As there was no action on her despite overstaying, she took to trafficking and brought a Romanian and forced her into prostitution.

These are not two isolated cases of foreign nationals overstaying illegally in different parts of the city and indulging in illegal activities, more particularly drug trafficking.

A fundamental flaw which has allowed this is the lack of coordination between the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), which is responsible for monitoring the movement of foreigners in the country, the police and law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Hundreds of foreigners are taking advantage of this and are having a free run.

Reportedly, there are over 1,000 foreigners staying illegally — those whose visas or passports or both have expired. Most of them are from Africa. It was alleged that they had identity documents of other nationalities and entered India by obtaining passports from those nations before entering India.

Inquiries revealed that this manipulation of passports and national identities are done through agents.

A bigger problem is that even if the illegal overstayers are caught, it becomes difficult to get their travel documents from the respective embassies which do not have the records. They simply disown their nationals.

One of the drug kingpins, Tony, arrested by the Hyderabad police in January 2022 gave police multiple names but they did not match with the citizenship details of Nigeria, his native country. It was only after a thorough investigation that police found that his actual name was Chukwu Ogbonna David.

Police said, “We are constantly pursuing the matter with all the agencies to regulate and restrict movement of these illegally staying foreign nationals,” said an official.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story