BENGALURU: The city police have trained their eyes on the sizable number of foreigners living in Bengaluru and have been active in asking for their deportation back to their home countries. In 2018, 20 foreigners were sent back to their respective countries, three times higher than the 6 cases in 2016. The move comes after the state government in 2017 said that it was considering dropping cases registered against foreigners in return for their deportation.
However, this move has not yet been implemented and is unlikely according to police who say that offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act are considered as heinous crimes and cannot be dropped by the police easily. Inspite of this, the deportations have increased as most offenders are living on expired visas.
Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) senior officer Labhu Ram confirmed that only foreigners whose criminal cases were disposed off faced deportation. Of the 20 cases in 2018, the offenders were either accused of cyber crimes or other offences. Cyber crimes are the most commonly committed crimes by foreigners, according to the police.
Additional commissioner of police (East) Seemanth Kumar explained how deportation takes place. “When offenders are caught, most have an expired visa. They are then taken to the FRRO, who take further action with regard to deportation. We give advice to the FRRO on habitual offenders and they take note of them,” he said.
When a foreigner has a pending case against him/her, the passport is detained and they cannot leave until the case is disposed. BS Mohan Kumar, assistant commissioner of police (women and narcotics), Central Crime Branch, said it takes over a year for a case to go on trial and be disposed, wherein an offender remains free until then. “He can continue with his criminal activities since his passport is detained. Hence, local police stations need to keep a close watch and prevent further illegal activities,” he said.