Panaji, Aug 27 (IANS) Overstaying foreign nationals, especially Nigerians, are a “real problem” and their only ostensible business is drug dealing, Goa Advocate General Saresh Lotlikar said on Saturday.
“The problem is with foreigners, the Nigerians in particular. I was speaking to the DIG (Deputy Inspector General of Police) the other day… He said this is a real problem,” Lotlikar said at a workshop organised to create awareness about legal services to victims of drug abuse and eradication of the drug menace, in presence of High Court justices C.V. Bhadang and Nutan Sardesai and other judges and lawyers.
“They (foreigners) don’t have any ostensible business here. Their only business by and large appears to be to deal with drugs,” he added.
Lotlikar also said that foreigners use loopholes in the legal system to prolong their stay in India, often with the use of fake passports and visas.
“Kindly consider, whether these cases can be disposed off as quickly as possible. So that these people who are persona non grata, can be sent home. We can even fund their air tickets,” he told the audience comprising of legal luminaries and police officials.
According to police records, out of the 583 foreigners who were booked for various crimes over the last five years, 333 have gone ‘underground’ and cannot be traced. Out of the 333, 208 are Nigerians.
Lotlikar also said that foreigners often get involved in crimes, as a means to prolong their stay in the country, because the Indian judicial system requires foreign nationals to stay on in the country, until the case is heard and the judgement is pronounced.
He also said that the Goa government was concerned about the drug menace, which, he said, had reached severe proportions and said that educational institutions as well as parents needed to do more to bring the menace under control.
“The situation is very bad but not hopeless. I don’t find colleges and schools are doing enough to curb the menace of drug abuse.
“Parents are always on denial mode thinking that their children will not indulge in such things,” he added.