East Jaintia Hills Police have arrested three more Nigerian nationals for entering India illegally through Bangladesh, the Meghalaya Police, said on Monday, November 18.
The district SP, Vivekananda Singh, said that on November 15 around 12.30 am, the three African nationals were detected by Ratacherra CP staff while travelling in a night super bus (AS-01-KC-0299) from Agartala to Guwahati.
They were detained for interrogation but since they could not produce valid documents to support their entry into India, they were arrested.
The case has been registered at Lumshnong PS and an investigation has been launched into the matter.
Bangladesh border is fast becoming a entry point for Nigerian citizens to enter India illegally. With these arrests, East Jaintia Hills Police have arrested a total of twenty-two Nigerians in the past two months alone.
Meghalaya police chief R Chandranathan said, “We are taking this case very seriously. All ramifications and possibilities are being probed”.
The probe has unraveled vital leads, like all the Nigerian citizens who were travelling in groups belong from the southern zone of the country, which is Christian dominated. Bangladeshi agents in Nigeria are responsible for their travel and itinerary who also might have helped facilitate their cross into India.
Their aim was to reach New Delhi where a large diaspora of Nigerians lives in the southern districts. Many Nigerians have also been convicted for drug peddling in India, but the police believe that these arrested men were motivated by the prospect of earning money through cyber crime.
The latest report of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed that Nigerians constituted about 40 percent of foreigners arrested for drug crimes in India during 2017.
“If they are able to earn money through fraud, they might return through the same route to Bangladesh after making provisions for the transfer of the amount. And if they are convicted for crimes, then they would serve the jail sentence and then get deported. It’s a risk worth taking for them,” claimed a middle-rung official of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
However, what concerns Indian security agencies is that the Nigerian nationals went unnoticed and were apprehended 200 kilometres into Assam and Meghalaya.
The development also establishes the existence of safe routes that facilitate the movement of people and commodities across the border and raises serious national security implications.