BENGALURU: The number of foreigners arrested by the City police under drug trafficking laws has tripled since 2019 and a majority of the accused are of African origin. Official statistics show that as on September 12, the City police have arrested 114 foreign nationals under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, as against 84 foreigners in 2020 and 38 in 2019.
A majority of the accused are from Nigeria. This year, out of the 114 foreigners arrested, 70 are from Nigeria. Last year, out of the 84 held, 45 were from Nigeria and in 2019, out of the 38 foreigners arrested, 19 were from that country.
City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that there are a lot of foreigners who have come here for genuine purposes like studies, medical reasons, tourism, etc. “But some have come under adverse notice after indulging in organised criminal activities like drug trafficking, cybercrime and prostitution. Some of them are repeat offenders. They are arrested and when they are let out on bail, they go back to their criminal activities,” he pointed out.
Apart from Nigerians, nationals from Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, Somalia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Nepal have also been arrested under the NDPS Act. Bengaluru North and East divisions have lot of pockets where most of the foreign nationals stay. Some of them are living in violation of visa conditions and indulge in organised crime. They are arrested, and after being enlarged on bail, they go back to their nefarious activities because bail conditions do not allow them to leave the country.
The City police are cracking down on landlords, who rent out their premises to foreigners without any valid documents. In a special drive, those found staying in violation of their visa conditions are being produced before the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) and sent to the foreigners’ detention centre in Nelamangala. Two Congolese nationals — Ndasi Didier (26) and Buheshe Bahogwerhe Vinny (27) were recently produced before the FRRO and have been lodged in the centre.