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JOWAI | Oct 10, 2019:

Ever since the arrest of foreign nationals of African origin in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, the officers and personnel of West Jaintia Hills were alerted about the issue especially the threat of infiltration from Bangladesh through the porous border.

So far, the Meghalaya Police have been able to apprehend as many as 22 foreign nationals — 19 from East Jaintia Hills and 3 from West Jaintia Hills. Fresh arrests were made by the police in the two districts — while two were held by East Jaintia Hills police last night, three were apprehended by West Jaintia Hills Police today morning.

On October 9 evening, information was received that unknown foreign nationals were likely to cross over from Bangladesh into the district and based on this source information, Dy SP (traffic) of West Jaintia Hills, Donkupar Moksha led a police team to conduct an operation in Amlarem areas and on October 10 at around 1 am, the team apprehended three foreign nationals — Chukwuma Celestine Okwuwa (34), Lucku Osas Enebi (36) and Ndubuisi Moses Chime (28) from Pdengshakap area, about 10 kms from Amlarem.

During preliminary enquiry, the three Nigerian nationals stated that they left Lagos, Nigeria on Oct 6 and reached Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 7 on transit to Dhaka; they reached their destination on Oct 8 morning. Then while they were on the flight from Istanbul, they met one Nigerian national inside the Instanbul flight and they came together to Dhaka. However, on reaching Dhaka, he went separate ways and disappeared in the capital city of Bangladesh.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: 3 more Nigerians arrested; number rises to 17

From Dhaka, the trio was guided to the border by one Bangladeshi person and proceeded towards one riverside and then they entered into India.

It was also informed that at the time of entering into India, they saw a guard at the border but they were not seen by him. Then, they crossed through a swampy area on the border; While doing so, they saw some local people and asked from them for their transportation.

And while they were travelling, they were intercepted by the police team at Pdengshakap area after travelling about 45 minutes from the riverside.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: 1 Ivory Coast citizen, 2 Nigerians held in Khliehriat for entering India illegally

The three Nigerian nationals carried only passport and Bangladesh Visa with them and they stated that their purpose of coming was to explore garment exports in India, police said.

The local persons who assisted them — Ronaldo Syndai (21) of Syndai Kmaishnong village, Ni Pohleng (20) of Syndai Lyngkot village, Kliar Mon Pohthmi (18) of Syndai Kmaishnong and Rihok Chyrmang (28) of Syndai Kmaishnong village have also been arrested and investigation is underway into the matter.

Sources revealed that the local persons who helped the foreigners, have allegedly planned this activity with some Bangladeshi nationals to help them cross the border. The vehicle that was used for transportation of the Nigerian nationals (ML 05 G 4952), a Black Chevrolet Spark, was also seized and search of the baggage was conducted in the presence of the Magistrate but, however, nothing incriminating was found.

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In this regard, a case has been registered under the Foreigners Act and the three Nigerian nationals including four local persons were arrested and forwarded to the court with a prayer to grant them police custody for further interrogation.

It may be mentioned that the infiltration of the Nigerian nationals into India in the last month, with majority of them being apprehended from Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills, has worried the Meghalaya Police and the recent development has even been intimated to the Ministry of External Affairs and Home Affairs.

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So far, the East Jaintia Hills police have been able to apprehend as many as 19 foreign nationals — 17 last month and two on the evening of Oct 9.

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