The Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Lagos, on Sunday expressed concern over increasing number of Nigerians allegedly involved in using fake documents to seek Italian visa.
The spokesperson of the unit, Lawal Audu said the Italian Embassy sends an average of 50 Nigerian Passports with fake document to SFU monthly.
Before now, Canada used to complain of such high numbers of fake documents.
“We have charged more than 15 persons to court for presenting fake document between January and May, 2017,” Audu said.
“Documents the applicants always forged include bank statements, health insurance certificates, invitation letters from Italy, letters of introduction and letter of employment from multinational companies.
He said many of the applicants used fake names and addresses. Even their mobile phone numbers are with fake names and addresses. Some phone numbers have babies’ names for registration,” Mr. Audu noted.
The major challenge faced by the unit was difficulty in tracking applicants due to lack of national data for identity.
Audu said that two men, who allegedly specialised in forging visa payment slips and fake
visa procurement, were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lagos Island.
He said that the suspects, aged 28 and 31 respectively, were arrested after a complaint by the American Embassy on the use of fake receipt to seek for their visa.
“They allegedly specialise in manipulating visa payment receipts by using Corel Draw application in Microsoft Word to edit payment slip in order to use same for more than one applicant.”
Another 34-year old single mother was also arrested for allegedly using forged document to seek for visas to the UK, US and China.
The woman, who had been refused visa to UK twice, allegedly procured fake document to appear before the American Consulate with Passport No. A0055907 containing fake UK visa and Heathrow’s Immigration stamp.
“The suspect confessed that she employed the service of one Olawale, a document vendor in Ibadan, to procure fake UK, Chinese visas and departure/arrival stamps, including various African countries on her passport in order to give her previous travel history,” he said.