According to the Russian embassy here, over 1,000 Indians had been deported from Russia in 2001. "I would imagine the figure would be around the same for last year," says Andrey Zhiltsov, first secretary for political affairs in the Russian embassy, who does not wish to get into specific figures. The number of Indian nationals who evade the net and stay on using forged identities is a guess both officials in South Block and the Russian embassy wouldn't like to hazard. But raw officials say that for every illegal migrant deported, there are three on the run. According to them, the numbers have only been increasing in the past two years.
On January 13, 20 Indians and 70 Chinese, who were illegally put up in two pokey apartments in Ukraine's capital Kiev, were picked up. With the help of "guides", the group had travelled from Moscow and crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. Each of them paid $7,000-$10,000 to an agent for transporting them to western Europe.