The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) recently recommended the home ministry to create a separate database of foreigners who are living illegally in the country.
They also suggested creating a database with finger prints of all foreign nationals living in the country.
DMP made the recommendations to the home ministry in a recently sent letter, in a bid to control the illegal stay and involvement in crime of foreigners.
The DMP letter said the trends of foreigners being involved in crimes after entering the country as professionals is increasing day by day. Most of the foreigners have no passport, or any legal work permit.
A large number of these foreigners have been found involved in fake currency rackets, smuggling, narcotics business, cyber crime and various fraudulent activities in the country.
According to DMP sources, 96 criminal cases were filed against foreigners in last five years. Most of the accused of those cases are from different African countries who entered the country introducing themselves as footballers.
DMP recommended to the home ministry to take measures so that a local club takes prior permission from the concerned ministry before appointing a foreign footballer.
DMP also suggested making it mandatory for local football clubs to immediately inform local police and special branch after the contract period of a foreign footballer ends.
When contacted, Shaikh Nazmul Alam, Joint Commissioner of DMP told the Bangladesh Post, “We are monitoring the foreigners living in Dhaka. If any of them is found involved in any crime inside the country, we shall take initiatives to ensure their return.
Referring to the data of the last five years, DMP sources said a good number of the foreigners living in Dhaka are staying in the country even after their visas have been expired. Despite having no work permits, they are working illegally in different sectors.”
“They are getting involved in criminal activities and most of the young men are from African countries. They had entered the country as footballers, but in reality have no connection with professional football,” said a senior DMP official, adding that they are also entering the country claiming themselves as high officials and consultants of different private firms, NGOs and international NGOs.
“Some of them also entered the country illegally crossing the border,” he added.
According to the data analysis of DMP officials, among the 96 cases, 49 cases were filed in connection with fake currency, illegal drug business, 9 cases were lodged for different crimes including human trafficking, occupying abandon properties and two cases were on rape. Another ten cases were on murder and other various serious crimes.
DMP officials said we faced serious problems while investigating against the African nationals to identify their specific names, nationalities, ages and their home addresses. We also faced difficulties while interrogating the African nationals as they often talk in totally unknown African languages. Many of these foreigners do not have their own embassies in Bangladesh.
DMP recommendations include creating of a database with finger prints of all foreign nationals; collecting intelligence information on illegal foreigners; providing visa to a foreigner after being confirmed of their original reason to visit Bangladesh; and preparing a separate database of illegal foreigners.
DMP also recommended forming a coordination committee consisting of the ministry concerned and other stakeholders.