Nigerians constituted about 40 per cent of foreigners arrested for drug crimes in the country last year, says a latest report by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
According to the data compiled by the central agency for the year 2017, out of the total 397 foreigners arrested in India for drug crimes, 157 were Nigerians, 95 were from Nepal, 46 from Myanmar and 13 from South Africa.
Nigerians, as per the data, constitute the highest and account for about 40 per cent of the foreigners arrested for such crimes last year.
The Narcotics Control Bureau, the enforcement agency tasked to coordinate efforts against drug menace, itself arrested 21 Nigerians, while the rest were apprehended by other departments, including various state police units.
A senior official in the anti-narcotics establishment said the figures reflect a trend of the involvement of Nigerians and those from other African countries in such crimes.
In 2016, he said, 68 Nigerians and 91 Nepalese nationals were arrested across the country for drug crimes, followed by 27 Myanmarese and five from South Africa.
“These figures (of arrests of foreign nationals) are by and large the same each year. We have found that the challenging and poor socio-economic conditions of those hailing from the African region are responsible for them being lured into such crimes,” the official said.
“All these cases are also brought to the notice of local embassies or High Commissions of the respective countries as the proceedings under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) continue,” he said.
The other countries whose nationals were arrested for drug crimes last year include Bolivia (7), Bangladesh (6), Sri Lanka (6), Uganda and Rwanda (5 each) and Venezuela (4) among others.