By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
Nine Bangladeshi nationals who had illegally been remaining in the country for over four years, having forged their Sri Lankan Resident Visa were nabbed by the Immigration and Emigration Department officials yesterday, making such detection for the first time in history.
The Immigration officials on information raided a shoe repairing shop in Malwana yesterday morning and arrested three Bangladeshi nationals with their forged visas.
An official told the Daily Mirror that when they checked passports of the foreigners, all were pasted with the two year Resident Visa sticker as issued by the Department.
But when the officials had a closer look they could notice a distinct feature of the visa sticker in the suspects’ passports from the one that is being issued by the Department. 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 foreigners 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.
The Immigration team led by Deputy Controller M. G. V. Kariyawasama is conducting investigations on the instructions of Immigration and Emigration Controller General Pasan Ratnayake and Controller Border and Visa Dasitha Niroshana.