By Jayantha Samarakoon
The Department of Immigration and Emigration yesterday said that steps would be taken to arrest around 600 foreigners who had come to the country on tourist visas and are employed here.
In the last six months, 110 such foreigners had been taken into custody and deported after blacklisting them, the Head of the Investigations Division of the Immigration and Emigration Department Assistant Controller W. Devendraraja said.
Among such foreigners there had been five Netherlands citizens who had stayed on the pretext that they were on relief work. He said that they were deported after a warning. According to Mr. Devendraraja a large number of foreigners who come on a 30 day tourist Visa find employment in restaurants, jewellery shops, and in factories in the Investment Zones, in varying capacities and out of them, the majority have been identified as Indian, Pakistani and Chinese. At the same time, the foreigners who had been brought in with Employment Visa by some companies have left those positions years ago and are now engaged in other positions.
The absence of information on such persons has become a great obstacle in nabbing them and it can be done only with the help of public support, he said