A snap raid conducted at the Immigration and Emigration Department's special detention centre in Mirihana last morning had revealed that 30 African nationals in the camp had gone missing.
A team of over 50 law enforcement officials, including Immigration officials, Mirihana Headquarters Police Station officials as well as Police Special Task Force personnel took part in the snap raid, which lasted a couple of hours early yesterday.
A senior Immigration Department official told Daily Mirror that following a series of investigations, the detainees of the centre had either disappeared on and off or involving themselves in various unlawful activities.
Several hundred foreign nationals are being detained at this centre, who were taken into custody by the department for illegally staying in the country without a valid visa or have exceeded their stay violating the local visa regulations. Once the foreign nationals are nabbed for violating the Immigration and Emigration Act, they are brought to this detention centre, where they will be temporarily detained until they facilitate themselves with a return air ticket to return to their home countries.
The snap raid revealed about 30 African nationals, most of them were Nigerians and had reportedly gone missing from the centre, according to the centre's list of detainees. The authorities suspect these foreigners may have engaged in various unlawful activities like smuggling goods and financial frauds using forged ATM cards etc.
The Immigration Department is conducting further investigations with the backing of Mirihana police to apprehend the missing foreigners. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)