Monday, November 12, 2007

Police arrest 41 illegal immigrants in two-hour crackdown

image FREETOWN (AFP) - Police in Sierra Leone arrested 41 foreigners in a two-hour raid in the southern diamond-rich city of Bo for breaching immigration laws, an internal affairs ministry official said on Friday.

Immigration officer Michael Bayoh, who coordinated the crackdown in the country's second largest city, 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the capital, said nationals of Britain, China, India, Pakistan and Lebanon, were among those nabbed.

With the help of armed police immigration officials went from house-to-house on Wednesday to check residents' papers, and "within two hours we netted the 41 people," Bayoh told AFP.

He said some had either overstayed their visitors' visas or were working without permits while others did not even have documents to show how they entered the war-scarred west African country.

An influx of non-citizens into the southern region bordering Liberia and rich in diamonds and gold has been of concern to government, he said.

"Their presence up to this time has been mostly unchecked and I view their stay as a threat to the security of the nation," he said.

SLeone police arrest 41 illegal immigrants in two-hour crackdown - Yahoo! News