The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a travel agent, Mrs. Mary Olaleye, for an alleged N8.4 million visa scam.
The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Monday that Olaleye, who is a promoter of Victoria Travels Resorts Limited, allegedly obtained N8.480 million from two prospective travellers in Kaduna under the guise of securing Canadian visas for them.
He said: “Olaleye allegedly obtained the sum of N8.480 million from the duo of Tochukwu Asika and Daniel Alabi, under the pretence of helping them to procure Canadian visas and other travel arrangements.
“The complainants alleged that the crime happened sometime in 2018 when they contacted the suspect to arrange a trip to Turk and Caicos Island for them.
“The complainants said that they paid her N1 million each, totalling N2 million to the suspect
“The complainants told EFCC that two days to their departure, the suspect informed them the trip had been put on hold and offered them an alternative arrangement instead.
“Olaleye offered them a visa to Canada, which they accepted and paid a cumulative sum of N4.240 million respectively for the visa, including consultancy fee and air tickets.
“But, after a long hiatus, the suspect called and issued them the Canadian visa and Yellow Fever cards, informing them that they would be travelling through Kenya.
“However, upon arrival in Kenya, the complainants were arrested by Kenyan Immigration officials for possession of fake yellow fever cards, and subsequently detained.
“The victims were later released by the Kenyan authorities and issued with new yellow fever cards after which they made several unsuccessful efforts to contact the suspect to get her Kenyan representative to assist them with the connecting flight to Canada.
“However, the complainants were later re-arrested by the Kenyan Immigration and deported to Nigeria.
“Upon arrival in Nigeria, the victims continued to make efforts to reach the suspect to retrieve their money, but their efforts proved abortive, hence the recourse to EFCC.”
Uwujaren said the suspect was invited severally by the EFCC, but she shunned the invitations, forcing the anti-graft agency to place a “lien” on her bank account.
“She was subsequently arrested at her bank in Abuja and brought back to Kaduna for further investigation and prosecution in court as soon as investigations are concluded,” the EFCC spokesman added.
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