How Fraudsters Use Fake Immigration Documents to Defraud Nigerian Travellers

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By Chinedu Eze

Passengers travelling through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos have been alerted of how fraudsters now use fake Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) logo, letterhead to defraud intending passengers.

The conmen send out information purportedly issued by the Lagos office of the NIS Immigration, requesting all passengers travelling out of the country MMA, Ikeja, Lagos to be in possession of $1,500, which would be “shown”  at the passengers’ destination.

The directive includes a warning that if any passenger, who does not have the said amount, would have his trip aborted and such letters have been circulated to companies by the suspected fraudsters.

This was made known to THISDAY by the spokesman of Immigration and Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, Ekpedeme King who said the purported directive was written on an NIS letterhead with headquarters at Alagbon Close, off Ikoyi Road, near Secretariat, Lagos Nigeria.

“It bears a fake signature, also purported to be signed by the Comptroller General. We understand it was circulated to companies in Lagos most likely with intent to defraud them.

As can be confirmed, the headquarters of the NIS is at Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Sauka, Abuja and not Lagos. Furthermore, such directive is unknown to the Immigration Act, Regulation or Manual as well as against global best practices in the travel industry,” King explained.

According to him, the NIS therefore wished to categorically state “that the purported directive did not emanate from the CGIS office or any office of the NIS and should be disregarded. We wish to condemn this despicable act which does not tarnish the image of the NIS alone but the country in general. Perpetrators of this condemnable activities rather than continue in their shameless efforts to run down our dear country should repent and join other patriotic citizens in building a virile nation.”

While appealing to stakeholders and the general public to support the NIS, King assured Nigerians that the NIS would continue to abide by the principles of good governance and acceptable service delivery in all its operations.