National security and the case of impersonation, cheating and overstaying against 2 Nigerian nationals

Lalit Shastri

Passport NigeriaAn FIR registered by the Delhi Police for cheating, impersonation and overstaying by two foreign nationals, both of them Nigerian citizens – one of whom has been nabbed by the Police while the other has left the country by hoodwinking the immigration authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here has exposed major chinks in the enforcement of the Foreigners Act and vital gaps vis-a-vis national security.

On February 2, 2015, a Nigerian national, Anthony Chukwu Onyejiaju holder of passport No. A02273940, issued on August 5, 2010 (valid up to August 4, 2015) was produced in the office of Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Delhi East Block—VIII, Level- II by the Safdarjung Enclave Police Station for his deportation as he had overstayed in India after expiry of his Indian visa.

On scrutiny of the passport, it was revealed that the foreigner Anthony Chukwu Onyejiaju  had arrived at the Mumbai airport on September 6, 2010 on the authority of Indian ” Business Visa”  (No. AG827939 issued on August 24, 2010 and valid up to August 24, 2011). On January 9, 2013, after  overstaying in India for a period of more than 16 months, this person approached FRRO, Delhi office for his registration and exit permit. He had lodged a police report stating that he had lost his passport and was issued a new passport (bearing No. A00332015 and valid till January 3, 2018) on January 4, 2013 by the Nigerian Embassy in New Delhi. On March 12, 2013, he was granted exit permission on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs (office order No. 18016/107/2013/2013-F-V of March 5, 2013). On march 18, 2013, the foreigner was blacklisted for entry in India, following his departure from India from the Indira Gandhi International  Airport in New Delhi on March 14, 2013.

Earlier this month, on February 2, when the same foreigner was produced in the FRRO office by the police for his deportation, it was found after sustained questioning that he had never lost his passport. The new passport had been acquired by this person by lodging a false “lost passport” complaint to facilitate one of his friends – John Jackson Okey, also a Nigerian National to get him out of India as he was without a passport. It was further disclosed that he (Anthony Chukwu Onyejiaju) had completed all the formalities for exit and after getting the exit permit, he had handed it over along with the newly acquired passport to his friend, who departed from India on March 14, 2013 by misleading the immigration authorities at IGI Airport.

Anthony Chukwu Onyejiaju continued to stay in India on the authority of his old passport (which he had falsely reported as lost). The act of cheating and impersonation was detected by the police when this foreigner was apprehended on account of overstay. It was found that two scanned copies of Indian visa bearing No. VI 1608805 and VI 4094364, were affixed on page No.11 & 12 of the passport in his possession. He had also managed forged arrival and departure stamps in the passport and had obtained one Indian visa issued fraudulently in Johannesburg (No. AP3649786 affixed on page No.9).

Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Delhi East Block has informed the Delhi Police that prima facie Anthony Chukwu Onyejiaju and his accomplice had committed the offence of cheating and impersonation and criminal conspiracy and the Safdarjung Enclave Police station has also registered an FIR in this case this past Tuesday under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Sections 34, 419, 420, 468 and 471 of Indian Penal Code.