A 53-year-old man identified as Abioye Abolaji has been arraigned by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) Ikoyi, Lagos, attached to the Diplomatic Section on an eleven-count charge bordering on alleged forgery, obtaining money by false pretence, false representation and stealing.
The spokesperson of PSFU, SP Eyitayo Johnson, in a statement on Thursday, March 23, 2023, said Abolaji is a member of a notorious syndicate that specialises in visa fraud, forgery of United Nations invitation letters and other documents.
“The arrest of the suspect was in furtherance to a petition from the Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) Regional Security office at the United States Consulate General (USCG), Lagos; which requested discrete investigation into forged documents submitted by certain C-2 Visa applicants to the Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit of USCG. C-2 Visa is a NIV category reserved for participants at United Nations (UN) Conference/Events,” the statement read.
“Investigation by USCG and PSFU into 77 C-2 applications from 24 organisations in Nigeria to attend 2 separate Conferences, namely, 67th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN 2023 Water Conference scheduled to take place in New York between 22nd-24th March, 2023; revealed that most of the applicants are not qualified for the Visa classification they applied for because the applicants provided forged UN Invitation Letters.
“The applicants, who claimed to be employees of Osun & Sons Agricultural Venture, Ray D. Exclusive Electrical Contractor, or ACE Technoresources Integrated Services; planned to attend UN Water Conference as a representative or nominee of these organisations but investigation revealed that none of the organisation is in consultative status with the UN and that the employment of most of the applicants had no bearing to either of the referenced UN Conferences.
“Further information elicited during Police interview of the Visa applicants led to the arrest of one Mr Abioye Abolaji, who is the arrowhead of a notorious syndicate that specialises in Visa Fraud.
“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit, CP Adepoju Ilori; advised prospective Visa Applicants to desist from patronising Document Vendors/Visa Racketeers for the processing of category B-1 and B-2 Visas or any other travel documents.
“The CP further encouraged applicants to research the procedure/requirements of Visa for their intended country of destination or to approach the Diplomatic Section of PSFU for guidance in order not to fall victim of Visa Racketeers. The Unit is currently on the trail of other members of the syndicate.”