Sri Lanka arrests 12 Bangladeshis for visa fraud

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 11:33, May 15, 2019 | Updated : 17:12, May 15, 2019

Security personnel stand guard in front of St Anthony`s Shrine, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 29, 2019. REUTERS/File PhotoTwelve Bangladeshi nationals who had illegally been remaining in Sri Lanka for over four years were nabbed by the Lankan Immigration and Emigration Department officials on Tuesday (May 14). 

A government source said, the detainees are, Mustafa Kamal, Lakchan Mia, Sasiqfi Islam, Kahil Mohammad, Tahir Mia, Golam Mohammad Moula, Rifath Mandol, Hossain Ali, Hassan Mia, Mohammad Thanwar Hossain, Mohammad Kasil, and M M Ripon Siddique.

However, Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror repotred the number as nine and cause of their detrention is they overstayed in the island forging Sri Lankan Resident Visa, making such detection for the first time in history of the island nation. 

The Immigration officials on information raided a shoe repairing shop in Malwana and arrested three Bangladeshis with their forged visas.

An official told the Daily Mirror that, when they were questioned at length the suspects had admitted that they had forged the visa sticker and had pasted it in the passports.

Meanwhile, the initial arrest had led to the arrest of six more suspects from Sapugaskanda and Biyagama areas where the latter were attached to two separate eateries as assistants.  

One suspect of the first three arrested men had arrived in Sri Lanka in 2014 and had been remaining in the country with forged visa. The other suspects had respectively arrived in the country in 2016 and 2017. A senior official at the department disclosed that although they make so many detections related to violations of immigration law this was the first time in history they detected a forged Resident Visa being pasted in a foreign passport. The officials are also probing whether the arrested nine Bangladeshis are in anyway linked to the local IS extremists and their activities. All nine suspects were to be transferred to the Immigration Department Detention Centre at Mirihana for further inquiries.