Shillong, October 10: Three Nigerian nationals have been arrested for illegally crossing over from Bangladesh in Meghalayas West Jaintia Hills district, police said on Thursday. Four Indians, who facilitated their unauthorised entry, were also held, they said.
The arrest came a month after 17 African nationals were nabbed in the neighbouring East Jaintia Hills district for the same offence, they said. Acting on inputs that a few Nigerians have landed in Bangladesh and are enroute to the International border, a police team was activated and they were arrested from Pdengshakap village, close to the Indo-Bangladesh border in the wee hours of Thursday, district Superintendent of Police Lakador Syiem said.
The Nigerians identified as Chukwuma Celestine Okwuwa (34), Lucky Osas Enebi (36) and Ndubuisi Moses Chime (28) were apprehended from an SUV and later arrested for travelling without valid papers. Four of their accomplices from the district have also been arrested on charges of facilitating their illegal entry, the SP said.
They were identified as Ronaldo Syndai (21), Ni Pohleng (20), Kliar Mon Pohthmi (18) and Rihok Chyrmang (28) of Syndai village, the SP added. The SP said that during preliminary inquiry, the arrested foreigners said they had left Lagos (Nigeria) on October 6 and reached Istanbul (Turkey) the next day from where they travelled on and reached Dhaka on October 8 morning.
On their flight from Istanbul, they met one fellow Nigerian and came together till Dhaka, the SP said. On reaching Dhaka, the man went separate ways and disappeared while the three Nigerians were guided to the border by one Bangladeshi.
The three Nigerians crossed through a swampy area on the border and were later provided vehicle which was intercepted at Pdengshakap village, after travelling about 45 minutes from the riverside. The police are investigating the modus operandi and the likelihood of human trafficking ring even as the arrested persons told the police they wanted to start garment exports in India.
They were produced before a local court at Jowai in the district during the day. (PTI)