Voice of Bengaluru's African expats deported

As president of the Pan-African Federation and Students' Union India, Bosco Kaweesi was a prominent voice of the African community in Bengaluru
Last Updated 30 July 2022, 13:48 IST

A Ugandan national who championed the cause of African expatriates in Bengaluru has been deported for "illegally" staying in India for almost 17 years, police said.

As president of the Pan-African Federation and Students' Union India, Bosco Kaweesi was a prominent voice of the African community in Bengaluru. He would hold protests against police action on Africans accused of criminal activities.

Police described Kaweesi's "illegal" stay as "mysterious". Most officers did not even know about it, they said, adding that he was involved in human trafficking and created fake documents to help Africans who overstayed their visas.

Bengaluru police learnt about Kaweesi's case only after receiving an alert from the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO). He was detained on July 19 and lodged at the detention centre. With help from Union government officials, he was deported on July 27.

Bheemashankar S Guled, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), said Kaweesi had been staying illegally since August 6, 2005. He was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to six months in prison. Kaweesi also ignored a notice to leave the country.

Police claimed Kaweesi took money from illegal African immigrants and provided them with fake immigration documents. He used the organisation's name to extort money from African expatriates and cheated them in the name of providing them with police and immigration clearance, police added.

Police are now trying to trace the people — both Africans and Indians — who facilitated Kaweesi's "illegal" stay.

A police raid on his house in Lingarajapuram yielded the passports of 26 Africans, including those from Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania. Twenty-four of them are women.

A laptop, printer, driving licence, bank passbook, photocopies of the passport and visas of many foreigners were also confiscated, police said.

The holders of the confiscated passports have been asked to collect them from the Banasawadi police station.

The landlord who rented his house to Kaweesi has been booked for not collecting his passport and visa and failing to inform the police.

Officials said they had taken steps to make sure Kaweesi never comes back to India.

(Published 29 July 2022, 19:39 IST)

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