The Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos State has expressed worry over the unrelenting attitude of Nigerians to patronize visa vendors, which end up packaging them with fake traveling documents.
This was even as SFU disclosed that it has received over 1,185 applicants with fake documents from Italian Embassy, with many of them charged to courts.
Speaking on this, the SFU Public Relations Officer, Lawal Audu, said many of the embassies, which partner with SFU, have zero tolerance for forgery. Audu noted that these embassies are mainly interested in issuing visas to credible Nigerians.
Audu, who said that SFU has a good working relationship with American, Italian and the UK embassies, noted that each of this embassy, has its peculiarities.
He noted: “The American consulate general for instance; every day we receive complaints of fake visa applicants. But the most disturbing is the fake visas, fake stamps, both arrival and departure stamps. Most of these applicants appear at the consulate with passports covered with fake travel history.”
According to Audu, the major issue is that Nigerians, seeking to travel out, prefer to go to a visa vendor, who might end up defrauding them. He said: “These visa vendors are everywhere. They will tell prospective customers or clients that they had assisted over hundred people to get the American visa. They will promise to help. And because these visa seekers are vulnerable or don’t care to know how they can apply for visa, they fall prey.
“If you want to know how to apply for visas, just go to the Internet. You don’t need to pay anyone or give money to anyone. But rather, many Nigerians prefer to give money to touts, visa agents and visa vendors. Nobody is appointed to be a visa vendor by any embassy or high commission.”