Sri Lankan authorities deported nearly 250 foreigners who over stayed in the country violating Sri Lankan visa regulations during the last five months.
According to the Emigration and Immigration Department’s Investigation Unit head Amitha Perera, the group includes 137 Indians, the largest by any country, 38 Pakistanis & also 17 Thai nationals.
The Department has recently taken measures to identify over-stayers and visa law breakers.
According to authorities, the majority of illegal immigrants on Sri Lankan soil are from South Asian and East Asian countries.
Some are allegedly involved in illegal activities including drug trafficking, human smuggling and prostitution.
Engaging in employment or business activities without prior approval while on tourist visas is banned for foreigners, according to the Sri Lankan law.
In 2011, 366 foreigners were expelled from the country for violating local visa laws. In 2010 and 2009, over 300 were deported.
The Investigation Unit arrested over 400 foreigners for overstaying and illegal businesses and employment in 2006, while in 2007 and 2008 more than 400 illegal immigrants were arrested and deported after investigations.
According to the Government Information Department steps are afoot to develop a comprehensive data base to identify visa over-stayers.