AGARTALA: Nine Nigerian footballers were arrested in Tripura while they were going to Assam, police said on Friday.
According to North Tripura District police chief Bhanupada Chakraborty, seven Nigerian footballers were detained at Dharmanagar railway station late on Thursday night from a Guwahati-bound train.
"We have handed them over to Government Railway Police for further legal action," Chakraborty told IANS over phone from Dharmanagar, 190 km from Agartala.
Two other Nigerian footballers were also arrested from a bus stand here on Thursday night. Police arrested them while they are about to board a Guwahati-bound bus.
Police suspect that the football players entered Tripura from Bangladesh. They did not have valid passports or travel documents for their entry into India.
After preliminary interrogation, police learnt they were going to Guwahati to play for a local football club there.
Tripura shares a 856-km international border with Bangladesh of which a stretch of 67 km is still unfenced.
Occasionally, Rohingyas (of Myanmar) and Nigerian nationals, besides Bangladeshis illegally enter Tripura in search of work in the northeastern states and other parts of the country.