A 36-year-old Chinese man was intercepted by the Border Security Force (BSF) near the India and Bangladesh border today, officials said. He was detained in West Bengal's Malda district near the border over "suspicious activities", they said.
The officials said the man was arrested when he was trying to cross the border illegally. When the troops asked him to stop, he tried to run but was chased down and caught. He was then taken to a border outpost at Mohadipur for questioning.
During questioning, the man told security officials that his name is Han Junwe and he is a resident of Hubei in China. It was found that he reached Dhaka on June 2 on a business visa and stayed there with a friend. He later moved to the border district of Chapainawabganj and was trying to enter Indian Territory when he was caught.
He has told security officials that he has visited India four times and that he has a hotel in Gurgaon where several Indian nationals work. He said that when he was in China, his business partner would send him numbers of cellphone SIM cards in India. A few days ago, he said, ATS Lucknow arrested his business partner, Sun Jiang. The man said the ATS has also charged him and his wife in a case, due to which he was denied an Indian visa. He then arranged for a Bangladesh visa and tried to enter India from there, he has said.
A Chinese passport with a Bangladeshi visa, a laptop, 2 cellphones, a Bangladesh SIM card, an Indian SIM card and two Chinese SIM cards are among the items recovered from the man.
The BSF South Bengal Frontier has said in a statement that Han Junwe is a wanted criminal and all intelligence agencies are working together in this matter.
"He was intercepted at 7 am. We brought him to Kaliachak post and informed other agencies. He is being questioned by them," a senior officer told NDTV, asking not to be named.
The officer said the man doesn't seem to know English and they had difficulty communicating with him initially. "A security officer who knows Mandarin was then called," the officer said.
Malda shares an international border with Bangladesh and is one of the most porous borders. The area is often used for the smuggling of drugs, arms, cattle and illegal immigrants.
The BSF's South Bengal Frontier guards the India-Bangladesh border in Malda region.