The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested a travel agent for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting members of the public over visas to migrate to Canada.
The anti-graft agency said that one Mrs. Mary Olaleye, promoter of Victoria Travels Resorts Limited, allegedly obtained N8.480 million from two prospective travellers from Kaduna through false pretences.
Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren in a statement on Monday, said: “Olaleye allegedly obtained the sum of N8.480 million from the duo of Tochukwu Asika and Daniel Alabi, under the pretext of helping them 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 N1 million each, totalling N2 million to the suspect.”
Uwujaren quoted the complainants as alleging that two days to their departure, the suspect informed them the trip had been put on hold and offered them an alternative 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.” Uwujaren stated.
The EFCC spokesman said 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,” he stated.
Uwujaren said that the suspect was invited severally by the Kaduna office of the EFCC, but she shunned the invitations necessitating 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,” he said.