INDIA. Mumbai: This year, nearly 450 foreign nationals residing illegally in Mumbai were deported by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), on charges of overstaying without complying with mandatory formalities.
As per an FRRO official, every year, nearly 400 foreigners are deported from Mumbai. Ninety-five percent of them are Nigerians, and others are South African nationals.
This year, until October, 450 such foreigners were deported. Some of them come on medical visas, and others enter India as students. Some of them indulge in drug peddling, and quite a few indulge in petty thefts, so that they cannot leave the country until the case is resolved.
At present, there is a heavy conglomeration of South African nationals at Mira Road, Nalasopara, and Naigum on the outskirts of Mumbai.
In order to stay in India, foreign nationals are required to register with the FRRO. They must create a user ID and password by registering in the portal online and uploading documents and photographs.They are required to deposit the requisite fee for the service, either online or through the bank payment gateway available on the portal.
A special operation is conducted by the FRRO with the help of the Indian Intelligence Service to find foreign nationals living in India without filing an application.
In this campaign, illegal residents are caught and sent back to their home countries. Also, citizens with such illegal visas are blacklisted so that they cannot travel to India again.
Most African nationals want to live a peaceful life in India rather than go back to their country and face poverty, and instability. Some men marry Indian women and become eligible for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card.
“However some of the African nationals, mainly Nigerians, have also become notorious in India for their cybercrimes such as phishing/e-mail lottery scams and gift frauds. Some of them also indulge in ‘romance scams’ by detailed profiling of their prospective victims on social media and matrimonial sites. They lure the victims with fake profitable businesses or expensive gifts and then squeeze money out of them,” DCP Cyber Balsing Rajput said.
In the meantime, as per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), as many as 798 Nigerian nationals were named as accused in various criminal cases across India in 2021.
Of the 798, 245 were involved in drug or NDPS cases, while 311 were booked for violations of the Foreigners Act or the Registration of Foreigners Act. After Bangladeshis, Nigerian nationals were second on the list of foreigners committing crimes in India.