A total of 173 foreign nationals were arrested in Maharashtra in 2014 for various crimes, according to the latest statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Only West Bengal (865) and Delhi (195) saw more foreigners arrested. On the flip side, Maharashtra recoded 59 crimes in 2014 in which foreigners were the victims; only Delhi (164), Goa (73) and UP (66) recorded more crimes against foreigners that year.
A senior official of the Maharashtra police said the majority of the cases in which foreigners were booked related to passport violations. He pointed out, however, that many had been arrested for murder, cheating, forgery and drug-related crimes. Many foreign nationals were also arrested for running Ponzi schemes and other get-rich-quick scams.
In one instance, officials from the anti-narcotics cell busted an international drug smuggling racket in November 2014. They arrested a person of African origin and seized 2.5kg of ephedrine worth nearly Rs 2 lakh on the international market. The 28-year-old was about to ship the drugs to an African country by concealing them in 11 bicycle seats.
Advocate YP Singh, a former Indian Police Service official, agreed that most cases against foreigners were for passport and related violations, adding that the numbers needed to be studied properly.
Across the country, 486 cases registered in 2014 involved foreign victims. Thefts (260) comprised the majority of these, but more serious crimes such as rape (22), murder (5) and robbery (22) were also perpetrated.