The police said it will undertake a three-pronged investigation in narcotics cases involving foreign nationals — the peddlers’ side, foreigner’s involvement in the drug mafia and the house owners’ side.

Personnel of Bengaluru Police on duty Representative Image/ PTI
news Law and Order Saturday, July 10, 2021 - 11:56

Bengaluru Police will now book house owners as accused persons in narcotic and drug cases that involve foreign nationals if due diligence is not done, the police said. The police noted that to get higher rent, some landlords were not verifying documents of foreign nationals before renting out their property. The city police said it will undertake a three-pronged investigation in narcotics cases involving foreign nationals henceforth — the peddlers’ side, foreigner’s involvement in the drug mafia and the house owners’ side. The decision came amid increased participation of foreign nationals in drug rackets in the city. 

Deputy Commissioner of Police SD Sharanappa (East), told TNM, “House owners who are renting out their property, under The Foreigners Act, 1946, are bound to verify travel documents and passports before renting their properties; the owners also have to inform the local police station. If house owners flout this rule, they will be booked under Foreigners Act and further, depending on their complacency, under other sections of Indian Penal Code,” he said.

Sharanappa added that 17 house owners in the east division have been sent notices thus far. As of now, the three-pronged investigation is limited to Bengaluru, he said.

A house owner in Govindapura was sent a notice recently in connection with a drug case wherein a Nigerian national and a South African national were arrested after police seized 56 grams of cocaine from them. Both were found to be illegally overstaying in the country and involved in drug peddling. On questioning, the owner did not have any details of these persons and had rented out his property for a higher amount.

The DCP told IANS that the house was seized and legal action will be initiated against the house owner. “We have decided to make them accused persons and seize their property if the details of foreign nationals are not verified before giving their property on rent to them," he reasoned.

As many as 70 foreign nationals were arrested in 2020 under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS) in comparison to 44 in 2018 and 38 in 2019. The number of arrested persons in 2020 under NDPS Act increased by 200% last year.

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