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Friday, 16 June 2017

Businesswoman, Two Others In Trouble For Procuring Fake Visas

The Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos has arrested a businesswoman, Modupeola Afolabi, for allegedly procuring fake visas for the United Kingdom (UK) and China. Afolabi, 34, also procured fake London Heathrow Airport entry/exit stamps. She was paraded by SFU spokesman, Lawal Audu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), with Sesan Awolola, 31, and Adebayo Ajase, 28. The men were described as specialists in cloning visa payment slips and receipts.

Afolabi, who claimed to be a university graduate, told reporters that she resorted to procuring the fake visas after she was denied United States of America (USA) visa twice. She said when she contacted a visa agent, he told her that the US Embassy in Nigeria rejected her visa application because she had a virgin passport.

Afolabi said: “The agent, Olawale, told me there was something he would do so that when my documents are sent again, the US officials will grant my visa request. He told me that the US Embassy doesn’t verify the authenticity of visas from other countries and so, I agreed to do it.

“I paid him N70,000 for the fake visas and stamps. I badly needed to travel to America to buy clothes for sale. I usually shop online and I felt if I started travelling to America to buy, it would be cheaper for me.

“I have a registered business and I think I have enough money in my account but they rejected me twice. They found out when they were asking me questions during an interview that I have not been to the UK and that was how I was arrested.”

According to Audu, the SFU received a petition from the US Embassy last year lamenting the amount of money it was losing to fraudsters, who use Corel Draw application and Microsoft Word to clone old receipts and present same for use by other visa applicants.

Following the petition, Audu said the SFU began an investigation which led to the arrest and arraignment of three suspects, including one Ismaila Adefile before a Lagos Magistrates’ Court, Igbosere.

However, other members of the syndicate, Audu said, continued to forge receipts which they used to book visa appointments for their clients.

According to him, Awolola and Ajasa were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday after a visa applicant who used one of their fake receipts was detected at the embassy.

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