Noida (UP): Seventeen foreigners, who had escaped police detention in Greater Noida last week, are still untraceable, while 30 are in jail after they were found staying in India without valid travel documents, officials said Thursday.
Sixty foreign nationals with invalid travel documents, including fake passport and expired visa, were rounded up by the Gautam Buddh Nagar police on July 10 for illegal stay in the country.
Seventeen of them had escaped on the night of July 11 after breaking open a bathroom window at a facility in the reserved police lines in Surajpur, Greater Noida, where they were accommodated with "restrictions" under the Foreigners Act.
"The police searches are on for the 17 foreigners who escaped from the police lines last week while inquiry was still underway into the case. Three of them were let free after they provided documents in support of their legal stay," Gautam Buddh Nagar SSP Vaibhav Krishna said.
The remaining 30 foreigners majority of them from African countries were later put in jail in the aftermath of the ruckus created due to the 17 foreigners escaping the temporary accommodation, Krishna said.
He said the 60 foreigners were initially put under "restrictions" as per Section 3(2) of The Foreigners Act, 1946, which requires an outsider to stay at a particular place prescribed by local authorities until they furnish proof of their identity and other documents.
"The 30 others, including women, have been put in jail under CrPC section 151 in order to prevent anymore person from escaping until their records are completely checked," he added.
Krishna said the district police is in regular contact with the embassies of these foreigners from nine nationalities, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Angola and the Philippines.
"We are in touch with the embassies of these foreigners and there is still window for them to furnish documents and get their verification done. We are looking for valid papers, otherwise the deportation process has been initiated but it is a time-taking procedure," the SSP said.
Krishna said some of these foreigners are students who had come to India and enrolled in colleges but overstayed.
"Once your visa expires, the stay automatically becomes illegal regardless of where you stay in the country. There are also cases in which foreigners move from one place to other in hiding and some of them might have been in Greater Noida too. The probe is on," he added.
Early in the morning of July 10, the district police and the local investigation unit, as part of its 'Operation Clean', had carried out searches at four housing societies in Greater Noida's Pi 1, Beta 2 and Dadri areas.
"Visa and passport of around 320 foreign nationals were checked during the campaign after which 60 were rounded up for questioning," officials said.
They said during inspection, 222 bottles of beer marked for sale in Delhi, 3.5 kg cannabis, six laptops, and 114 sim cards of Airtel were also seized from the residence of these foreigners.
The police inspection of foreigners' documents came almost two months since a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at a house in Greater Noida where it made its biggest ever haul 1,800 kg, of pseudoephedrine.
A Nigerian man and a woman were arrested from the house in Sector P4, under the jurisdiction of Kasna police station, where they were living on rent but did not have any verification of their identity done by the local police, the officials had said.
The house belonged to an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who is currently posted in Lucknow and claimed he rarely visited Greater Noida and had no idea of what was going on on his property.