Local Goa News

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Foreigners using forged travel documents: DIG

Panaji: The issue of over staying foreigners is not new to Goa. What is new though is that foreigners are using forged travel documents to stay in Goa.

Police came face-to-face with this new problem after the foreigner regional registration office (FRRO) found discrepancies in the information provided in Form C of three Nigerian nationals residing at rented premises in Sangolda. The business visas stamped on their passports were found to be forged. Following which a fresh tenant verification drive carried out by the police revealed an additional three similar cases, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Vimal Gupta said on Thursday. Further investigations are in progress, he said.
While offences have been registered against them, and three are in judicial custody, the department is yet to establish whether they are indeed Nigerian nationals, besides ascertaining the nature of business they indulged in on the forged documents, their port of entry and the genuineness of their passport.
Without biometric records it is not possible for police to establish the identity of foreigners. It is also not possible for the police to approach embassies, as they will not co-operate unless the nationality of the person is known, Gupta said, and added that the Goa police is writing to the home ministry asking that they introduce the system of biometrics.
Analysing data over a period of five years, the Goa police has found that of the 583 foreigners who indulged in various crimes, 333 have gone underground of which 208 are Nigerians (or from African countries) Gupta said, and added that a separate cell has been create in the FRRO dedicated to this problem.
Gupta also pointed to a local-foreigner nexus in operation wherein a group of locals come forward to bail the tourists out.
As reported by TOI earlier, police are also facing a problem with overstaying because of the lack of a detention centre.
The government has identified a portion of the Aguada jail to set up a detention centre, but Gupta said much more needs to be done in term of budgetary support, manpower, medical and mess facilities, with a separate section for men and women. Until an independent detention centre is established, this centre should be able to cater to 30-odd inmates.
In Delhi the detention centre is run by the ministry for social welfare, Gupta said, adding that this is not a jail, and police will only provide security to the centre.
Expediting the setting up of a detention centre in the state and recording biometrics of foreigners at the time of issuance of Indian visas will help police establish the identity of foreigners who overstay and commit various crimes, Gupta told reporters at the police headquarters.
Gupta also urged the public to be vigilant while subletting their premises, asking them to go ahead only once tenants produce valid documents, which can be confirmed by the FRRO. This reverse pressure will make it difficult for such foreigners to stay underground, Gupta said. The effectiveness of any police organisation depends on public participation he stressed, adding that if Goans don't come forward, they will be victims of anti-social activities.

TOI Goa News

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