Nearly 8,000 Indian prisoners, including under trials, are lodged in various jails across 82 countries, the Ministry of External Affairs has informed Parliament. Of them, 4058 prisoners are in the six Gulf countries and Iran, where Indians have traditionally thronged for better employment opportunities.
According to the MEA, 267 Indian prisoners are lodged in the US and 373 in the UK. Eleven countries have more than 100 Indians in their prisons.
The highest number of convicts and under trials of Indian origin are in Saudi Arabia, with 1570 prisoners. It is followed by the United Arab Emirates, with 1292 Indian inmates. There are 460 Indians lodged in prisons in Kuwait, 439 in Qatar, 178 in Bahrain, 70 in Iran and 49 in Oman, according to MEA records.
India’s seven neighbouring countries account for 1,913 of the nearly 8,000 Indian inmates in foreign jails. The maximum are in Nepal (886), followed by Pakistan (524), China (157), Bangladesh (123), Bhutan (91), Sri Lanka (67) and Myanmar (65). Interestingly, there is no Indian prisoner in Afghanistan as per the MEA.
Two major employment and tourism destinations, Singapore and Malaysia, have 480 Indians lodged in their prisons. While Malaysia has 409 Indian inmates, Singapore has 71. Philippines has 41 Indians lodged in their prisons, Thailand has 23 and Indonesia 20.
Australia has 62 known cases of Indians languishing in their jails, while Canada and Cyprus have 23 inmates each. There are 35 Indian prisoners in France, 22 in Greece, 24 in Maldives and 49 in Spain.