Police Arrest Nigerian Nationals at Church Service

Immigration police rounded up 65 foreign nationals across the country on Saturday for deportation, including a group of several dozen Nigerians in Phnom Penh who had allegedly entered with fake passports.

Uk Heisela, head of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said yesterday that his officers had been surveilling the 45 Nigerian nationals for more than two months but had refrained from attempting to arrest them because they were living in separate locations and some might have managed to escape.

Saturday’s congregation at a church in Pur Senchey district gave police the opportunity to apprehend them all at once, he said. “These Nigerian men are living in Cambodia illegally with no passports and no visas.

They have fake passports and no jobs,” Major General Heisela said.

“All of their names have been put on a stop list banning them from entering Cambodia again.”

A video of the arrest provided by Maj. Gen. Heisela shows some of the Nigerians disputing their illegal status, claiming they have valid passports and visa extensions.

In a separate case, the chief of investigations said 15 Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Siem Reap province on Saturday for staying in Cambodia illegally.

He said five Filipinos arrested in Svay Rieng province on Saturday had proper documentation to be in Cambodia but were “affecting public order” because they had formed a band and were going around to restaurants in Bavet City begging for money.

Maj. Gen. Heisela said all the people arrested on Saturday were being held in Phnom Penh and would be deported to their home countries this week.

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