Defence authorities concerned over illegal aliens | Sunday Observer

Defence authorities concerned over illegal aliens

3 September, 2023

Defence authorities yesterday expressed concern over intelligence reports of foreigners who are known to have overstayed their visas and continue to remain in several parts of the country, a senior official said.

“This is a matter of grave concern to the country’s security and the relevant authorities handling this particular issue should be aware of it and track down these people,” a senior official with knowledge of the matter said.

Immigration authorities were not immediately able to give an exact figure of the number of people who have violated the visa regulations.

Among the overstayers it is believed that there are Russians and Ukrainians who do not wish to return to their homes to avoid being drafted into the ongoing war between the two countries.

“At the moment we cannot five an exact figure on those who have violated their visa obligations because the data files have to be updated,” Immigration and Emigration Chief Harshan Elupitiya said.

However, he said that recently a group of illegal aliens who worked as sex workers were rounded up and deported.

He said that some foreigners may have gone to remote places in the country and finding them would be an uphill task.

The Deputy Controller for Visas at the Immigration Department G. P. H. M. Kumarasinghe who is also accredited as a media spokesperson said that such information cannot be divulged without approval from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Defence authorities recently stopped the Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility for citizens from eight countries but stopped short of naming them since it could cause a diplomatic spat, a senior MoD official told the Sunday Observer.