FG Loses N10.9m To Visa Fraud In S/Africa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Loses N10.9m To Visa Fraud In S/Africa

PIB, FIFA, buhari
Posted: Jul 25, 2016 at 6:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Isuma Mark

 

Abuja – The Federal Government of Nigeria has been defrauded of N10.9 million, an equivalent of $39, 370, over visa and passport fees at processing centres in South Africa.

This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Consul-General in South Africa, Amb. Uche Ajulu-Okeke, on Sunday, when he spoke to news agencies.

She said Online Integrated Solutions (OIS), reported the loss to the Nigerian Consulate.

The consulate hired a firm to process passport and visa on behalf of the Nigeria Immigration Service overseas.

“Concrete evidence that we have got shows a recent compilation of 254 online payment fraudulent reversals of passport applications which occurred between the months of April and June, 2016, Mrs Ajulu-Okeke said.

She added: “These acts were deliberately done by Nigerians to defraud their government,” with the active connivance of banks.

The ambassador pointed out that the South African banking system allows anyone with a credit card to reverse such payment if there was complain within 30 days.

“Unfortunately, some Nigerians in South Africa have perfected the act of defrauding the Federal Government by going to the banks to report loss or fraudulent use of such cards and the banks will reverse the payment,” she lamented without stating why it took the consulate so long to discover.

She however exonerated the consulate saying, “because of speed in service delivery accorded Nigerians by the Consulate at the instance of the Federal Government, the passport would have been produced.’’

But explaining how the system works against the consulate, she said applicants must collect their passports within the mandatory 30 days. Consequently, Nigerians make online payment and collect the passports within the stipulated days.

She added that with the passports in their pockets, they go back to the bank, raise complaints and reverse the payments.

“The Consulate has compiled a list of those involved in this act and sent to Abuja,” she pointed out.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service will decide whether those passports will be cancelled or withdrawn from circulation,” she said.

The Nigerian mission in South Africa recorded 58 reversals of online visa payments between April and June 2016, the Consul-General said.

“The Nigerian agent will collect cash from the applicants, use his credit card to pay and reverse the payment thereafter,” she explained, adding that applicants often use agents for the process.