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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Crackdown on drug peddling: Special Task Force says most Nigerians come to India on business visas

Of the 18 arrested since January 2018, 15 had come to India on business visas, two on student visas and one on medical visa.

punjab Updated: Jun 27, 2018 14:39 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Mohali

A majority of foreign nationals, all of them Nigerians, arrested this year for drug peddling in Mohali had entered India on business visas, the Special Task Force (STF) set up by the Punjab government to check the drug menace has said.

Of the 18 arrested since January 2018, 15 had come to India on business visas, two on student visas and one on medical visa.

“Most of them came to India on business visas. However many of them failed to provide any documents or passports and were booked under the Foreigners Act as well as the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act,” said Rajinder Singh Sohal, superintendent of police, STF Mohali.

Records at the immigration offices were checked by the police for verifying the visa claims.

The offenders, when questioned, claimed to be in the garments business, saying they bought clothes from the northeast and sold them in Delhi. “They say they buy the garments from Tripura and sell these in Delhi, but they have not produced sale receipts,” said an STF Mohali police official on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorised to speak to the media.

“All that we have is their contact numbers as they operate through mobile phones, but now mostly all deals are done through WhatsAapp calls so it’s challenging for us to reach the supplier,” he added.

Fake addresses are given for purchasing SIM cards, he added.

“We have arrested these foreign nationals for peddling drugs in Mohali. Their contacts in Delhi are yet to be arrested,” Sohal said.

The drugs brought into Mohali were supplied to, among others, school and college students, police officials said.

Arrests made in Mohali for drug peddling  

May 31: Nigerian nationals Frank, 21, and Chinoye, 39, were arrested with 200 grams of heroin each in Mohali. Frank is a football player who had came to India on a business visa in September last year and started supplying drugs for money. Chinoye, who had also come on a business visa about seven years back, was working with Frank

May 28: Maryam Wano, a Nigerian national living in Kishanpura, New Delhi, was arrested by the STF Mohali with 280 grams of heroin. She had come to India on a medical visa and was running a beauty salon in Delhi.

May 22: Nigerian woman Vera Umuaro, arrested with 265 grams of heroin from Phase 6 in Mohali, had come to India in 2017 on a student visa and had started work as a hairdresser in New Delhi. She had agreed to deliver drugs in Mohali to make extra money.

May 14: Joy Chika Uzoma was held with 1kg of heroin. She had come to India on a business visa three years ago and claimed to be a ready made garments dealer in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura.

April 25: Chukwuma (29) alias Jimmy, and Onyeka Kenneth (33), were arrested with 240 gram of heroin. Chukwuma had come to India on a study visa in 2014 and was staying with an acquaintance in Saket, Delhi. Chukwuma could not pay the tuition fee for education and so started peddling drugs. Onyeka arrived in India on a business visa in 2015.

April 19: Roita, 38, and compatriot Jude Justine, 35, were arrested on a tip-off by STF Mohali, with 50 gram of cocaine and Rs 40,000 in cash at a naka near Mauli chowk in Sector 80, Mohali. Roita had come to India on a medical visa about six months back. She, her husband Opone and partner Justine had been living in a rented apartment in Sector 80, Mohali.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 14:33 IST