A fake embassy that had issued mainly Trinidad and Tobago visas has been discovered by officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command.
According to PUNCH, the fake embassy, located at Golden Point Hotels and Suites on Duduyemi Street in Ejigbo, Lagos, had defrauded several individuals in the past and issuing fake visas.
The RRS said two Chinese – Liu Honyang, 47; Sun Xinai, 49 – and two Nigerians – Oriyomi Olawale, 47 and Desmond Chinedu, 25 – were arrested during the raid.
According to an RRS source, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, directed the squad to launch the operation after some of the victims had reported to the police.
“Some RRS policemen had lodged in the hotel for nine days, watching and monitoring the activities of the suspects before their eventual arrest,” the source said.
According to one of the victims, Adekunle Adefuye, one Dorcas Sylva introduced him to the fraudsters.
“She (Dorcas) is a daughter to my brother’s pastor in Abeokuta, Ogun State. I told her about my intention and zeal to travel to the United States. She told me to come to Lagos that she could procure the American visa for me. On getting to Lagos, she took me to the Chinese and I was advised to travel to Trinidad and Tobago. They said I would secure employment with at least $3,000 salary. I paid a total sum of N1.3m in installment for the process, including visa processing and flight fare,” Adefuye said.
“I was arrested with another Nigerian (after getting into Trinidad and Tobago with fake visas). We spent two days with the police. They treated us like criminals trying to enter the country illegally. We were deported on October 22, 2016, and arrived in Nigeria the following day,” he added.
“I was fortunate to escape being jailed in Trinidad and Tobago for coming into the country with fake documents. They beat me up and starved me for two days. I was lucky to have been deported,” another victim, Rasheed Ololade, who paid N1.3m added.
“I was introduced to them by one man, Mr. Oscar. They promised to secure the visa for me within two weeks,” said Friday Owah, who paid N600,000 to the fraudsters before their arrest.
Lukmon Odeyemi, who said he is a footballer, told the police that he parted with N125,000.
The main suspect, Sun Xinai, said he was unaware that a stamped visa for Trinidad and Tobago was no longer tenable in the country.
A letter signed by Garth Lamsee, the acting High Commissioner at Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commission said that the embassy does not know Xinai and that the mission does not use the service of agents.The letter, which is a response to a letter from RRS and dated December 7, 2016, read in part:
…the mission can categorically confirm that the individual Sun Xinai, who is claiming to be an agent of this mission, is unknown to us.
Furthermore, this mission does not use the services of an agent in any capacity whatsoever and has never done so in the past either.
With regard to the authenticity of the attached visas, the mission can also categorically confirm that those visas were not issued at this High Commission and are clearly fraudulent.
SP Dolapo Badmos, the Lagos Police PRO said that the Command has launched a manhunt for the agents, adding that the suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police had launched a manhunt for other agents of the fake embassy.
“Members of the public should be wary of visa agents. Anyone who wishes to travel out of the country should direct their applications to the embassies,” she added.