NOIDA: The Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police, which is probing a suspected hawala racket linked to China, has arrested four Chinese nationals who were allegedly staying illegally in India, officials said on Thursday.
Those held have been identified as Johnson alias He Zhuang, Ryen alias Ren Chao, Zeng Haozhe alias Jon, and Zeng Dye, they said.
The four accused were staying in Greater Noida without a valid visa since 2020 and are connected to Xue Fei alias Kelay (36), a Chinese national who was arrested on June 13 on similar charges along with his Indian girlfriend Petekhrinuo (22) who hails from Nagaland, they said.
"These four Chinese nationals were arrested by the STF over Tuesday and Wednesday for staying in India without valid visa," an official told PTI.
Xue Fei and Petekhrinuo were arrested from a Gurgaon hotel by the Uttar Pradesh police, close on the heels of the arrest of two more Chinese men who were trying to cross over to Nepal through Bihar but were detained by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
Xue Fei had floated several companies in India, most of them bogus, and was also running an illegal luxury restro-bar in a Greater Noida village that chiefly had Chinese patrons only, according to investigators.
"The hawala link in this case is under investigation," the official said on condition of anonymity.
In a separate development, the Noida Police had on Wednesday detained 14 Chinese nationals, including a woman, for allegedly staying in India despite having expired work visas.
They worked for a mobile phone company but their visas expired in 2020. The 14 Chinese nationals were sent to a detention centre in Delhi where proceedings for their deportation were started, according to officials.