Italy Deports 17 Nigerians

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Chinedu Eze

Few days after the government of Ghana deported 723 Nigerians over cybercrime and prostitution, the Italian Government last Tuesday night deported 17 Nigerians for drug trafficking and immigration-related offences.

The deportees, who were 16 males and one female, were returned to Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).

A source close to one of the security agencies at the airport said the 16 males were returned for immigration related offences, while the only female among them was deported for drug trafficking to Italy.

The source stated that after the deportees were profiled by the officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), they were allowed to leave the airport, while the only female with drug related case was handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The source told THISDAY that the deportees were returned to Nigeria on a Boeing 737, flight number AXE 2310, owned by Air Explore.

According to the source, the aircraft touched down at the airport at 19:45p.m., while the deportees were immediately guided to immigration counters for profiling. Those deported for immigration offences, THISDAY learnt, overstayed in Italy, while others were arrested with expired visas and lack of resident permits among other offences.

The source said: “As usual, we received some Nigerians yesterday night (Tuesday) from Italy. The deportees, like in the past, were returned for immigration-related offences, but the only female among them was deported for drug trafficking to Italy. This has been a continuous exercise over the years.”

Just last December, Austria, Germany, Hungry, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark had deported 41 Nigerians for related offences.

The deportees were brought back to Nigeria in a chartered aircraft, Boeing 767-300 named Privilege Air with registration number ECLZO from Austria through Lagos airport.

The breakdown of the deportees indicated that 35 males and six females were repatriated.

The source also disclosed that the deportees were immediately handed over to the officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the airport for processing and were later left to depart the airport without any stipends give to them for transportation.