Panaji: A Syrian national, allegedly overstaying in India, was picked up and detained by Goa Police from an offshore casino off Panaji late on Monday night, a senior police official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to IANS, Inspector General of Police Sunil Garg said police and intelligence agencies were questioning the Syrian national, but refused to divulge his name for “security reasons”.
“Our police team picked him up from an offshore casino last night after receiving information that he was overstaying in India after expiry of his visa. We have detained him and he is being questioned by police and agencies,” Garg said.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Republic Day celebrations, said police had “picked up” one person as a security measure and “we’re questioning him”.
Parsekar, however, denied any possible terror link to detention.
Sources said Goa Police were informed about the Syrian national’s presence in Goa by the central intelligence agencies.
“We were told that a Syrian national had illegally overstayed in India and had dropped off the radar. He was eventually tracked down in Goa. We acted on a tip-off by a central government agency,” sources said.
Less than a week ago, yet another Syrian national, Mussa Alareef, was quizzed by officials of the Pororim police station for overstaying. He was eventually booked under the relevant sections of the Passport Act.