KUALA LUMPUR: Among the international students involved in crime in the country, Nigerians form the biggest group with about 400 of them behind bars here, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
However, the number of international students involved in crime was small compared to the 117,833 foreign students studying in colleges and universities nationwide.
"I am not singling out any one country, but what I am saying is based on official statistics.
"Some 400 Nigerians are currently serving time in our prison for various offences," he told lawmakers in Dewan Rakyat when answering a question raised by Datuk Abd Sheikh Fadzir (BN-Kulim Bandar Baru) on Monday.
Abd Sheikh wanted to know the number of foreign students in the country and the efforts to curb abuses of student visas and number of cases involved so far.
Of the 5,217 cases involving students over staying the student visa, between 2010 and 2013, Ahmad Zahid said that some 1,579 various cases involved Nigerians.
Nigerian students, he added, were involved in 40 cases of violent crimes, 31 property crimes, 505 immigration related offences including 1,003 commercial crimes.
For comparison, he said some 340 Nigerians were involved in drug related offences compared to 26 Iranians.
"We are concern over Nigerian involvement in crimes as they are said to control the triads in Bangkok, Thailand and the Yakuza in Japan," he added.