October 27, 2022

Indian state deported 650 Nigerians in three years

Indian state deported 650 Nigerians in three years
By Biodun Busari 

About 650 Nigerians have been deported from Goa, a state in India since 2019 as a part of the government’s effort to curb the drug trade and overstaying visas of foreign nationals. 

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant disclosed this at the Goa police headquarters in Panaji on Wednesday.

Sawant said that the state police agency was in touch with its counterparts in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, along with the Union home ministry, as part of its efforts to crack down on drug trade in the coastal tourist state.

Read also: Nigerian couple arrested with drugs in India

“Earlier 700 Nigerians were staying illegally, now only 50 are remaining. We could deport them. The Anti-Narcotics Cell is working on the best way to control drug trafficking,”  Sawant said.

“The nation should be drug-free. To ensure zero tolerance of drugs in India, we should work as a team. 

“The home ministry has taken note of Goa’s detention centre and has told other states to create similar ones for foreigners, the way we do.”

The state’s only detention centre is in Mapusa in North Goa, where foreigners involved in crimes, or were caught for overstaying illegally, are held until their extradition papers are processed. 

Discussing the drug trade in the state, Sawant said that most narcotics are brought into Goa by migrants.

“Labour category persons bring drugs like ganja and charas, among others by buses and trains. International tourists also bring drugs.

“To crackdown on this, the government has taken steps. Last year, 161 cases were registered in this matter. More than Rs 4.5 crore worth of drugs have been seized. We will not tolerate drugs in the state,” Sawant said.

According to official numbers, from 2018 up until 2020 just before the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, a drug raid was reported every second day in Goa, with ganja or marijuana accounting for the most common drugs seized during such busts.

Nigerians topped the category of foreign nationals caught in drugs- and narcotics-related offences in the state.