- Bengaluru has a growing drug problem, fueled by a mafia
- Many of the drug lords are Africans immigrants, living here illegally
- But loopholes in the law mean the city police cannot have them deported.
The recent arrest of African nationals for drug peddling and the death of illegal immigrant Ifeanyi Madu in Kothnur Police Limits last week has reignited the debate about the Bengaluru's flourishing drug mafia.
And while the drug situation continues to spiral out of control with each passing month, there seems to be little that the authorities can do about it.
Interestingly, this helplessness continues even though the police are sometimes well aware of who the drug kingpins are.
Many African drug lords, who are known to the police, have expired visas and have several criminal cases filed against them continue to live safely in Bengaluru, thanks to official oversight and loopholes in the law.
Central Crime Branch officials have confirmed to Asianet Newsable that members of the African drug mafia continue to live in the city and run their illegal drug businesses as the police fail to track their records and lawyers manage to bail them out even in non-bailable offences.
"Some of them have a smart strategy. They prefer to get caught in small cases. Once the cases are registered, even if their visa is expired, they take advantage of the pending cases and stay back. Even if they are arrested for heinous crimes which are non-bailable, they come out of jail using a network of advocates," said Siddalingaiah, ACP Women and Narcotics Wing, CCB.
A senior officer from the Commissionerate confirmed to Asianet Newsable that in response to such tactics, the department has decided to make it a 'C' case - i.e., to close the case and deport them permanently.
Currently, there have been over 42 cases of foreigners - especially Africans - being involved in drug-related cases. Once the cases against them are closed, they can be sent back to their home country as illegal residents, since most of their visas are long expired.
From January till now, 10 cases of cocaine and six cases about the supply of LSD and MSD powder and capsules have been reported on African nationals.
"These drug lords enter Bengaluru through Mumbai and Delhi. A team to alert higher officers has been put in railway stations, bus stations and near the international airport, as they may enter the city through any route, " said a senior officer.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:57 PM IST