Muscat: The Royal Oman Police on Saturday morning deported 600 Pakistani infiltrators by boat while continuing a crackdown against illegal residents as well as human traffickers trying to smuggle people into Oman through the long coastline of the country.
“All the 600 infiltrators deported today were caught trying to sneak into Oman illegally,” Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Karim Bin Murad Al Beloushi, director at the department for countering infiltrators, said.
He added that all those caught while trying to enter Oman illegally were first referred to the judicial authority in Oman and deported only after the court issued an order.
Lt Colonel Al Beloushi also said that they had coordinated with the embassy concerned and checked on the nationalities of the deportees in accordance with Oman’s regulations as well as international convention in dealing with the infiltrators.
He pointed out that the Coast Guard was well equipped to deal with infiltrators. The senior police officer also praised the cooperation extended by the army and security services in ROP’s fight against infiltrators and human traffickers.
Human traffickers try to take advantage of Oman’s long coastline to smuggle in job-seeking poor people, mainly from Pakistan and Afghanistan.Unemployed poor people pay large sums to get onto boats and come to Oman.
The smugglers’ modus operandi is to take people on foot from Pakistan to Iran, where they pack them intoboats like sardines, and drop them off along the northern coastline of Oman by smaller boats under cover of darkness.
With Oman, Iran and Pakistan cooperating to combat the menace of human trafficking, the number of people being smuggled into Oman has dropped significantly but human traffickers continue to take advantage of Oman’s long coastline. Lt Col Al Beloushi pointed out that harbouring these infiltrators, either by giving them shelter or jobs, is proving out to be a nuisance. . “These infiltrators are largely responsible for the increase in the crime rate, including robberies, drug trafficking and peddling,” he cautioned.
The other peril of these infiltrators, he warned, was the spread of diseases. “These infiltrators are not subject to any medical tests so they are at risk of spreading dreaded diseases in our society,” he fears.
The senior police officer sought cooperation from every citizen as well as expatriates in fighting the menace of illegal residents. “Please report any illegal resident to police by calling the emergency number 9999 or going to the nearest police station,” Lt Col Al Beloushi appealed.
Meanwhile, last week, the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard unit nabbed three infiltrators and seized their boat in Shinas in northern Oman. The ROP Coast Guard monitored the boat and then arrested the infiltrators while they were anchoring their boat off Shinas.