The Embassy of Israel in Nigeria has intercepted an organised visa-fraud group involving 21 Nigerians.
In a statement by its Senior Media & Political Officer, Tony Obiechina, on Thursday, the embassy said it detected the fraud through the use of advanced tools and techniques.
It said the embassy had reported the matter to appropriate authorities in Nigeria for further action.
“The Embassy was able to detect the fraud by making use of Israel’s advanced tools and techniques to fish out fraudulent applications,” the statement said.
“The Embassy does not usually publicise issues like this, but due to the number of people involved and the organized method, it is important to keep the people informed about these developments so that we can collectively improve the system.
“These acts hurt the reputation of Nigeria and elongate the visa processing time for genuine applicants.
“All the relevant details and the names of the people involved have been submitted to the appropriate authorities.”
While throwing more light on the matter, Mr. Obiechina told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that the 21 Nigerians used a forged letter to apply for visas.
He also said the matter was reported to the foreign affairs ministry through a note verbale.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission said recently that it had stepped up efforts to stem visa racketeering in Nigeria.
“I am happy to state that documentations in terms of visa racketeering have gone down tremendously,” its outgoing chairman, Ekpo Nta, said.
“I think in 2013 we seized over 300 passports from this visa scam…..And we have advised the embassies on steps they should take to make sure that their visa application process are simplified and I am happy to state that the UK government found this advice very useful and they sent somebody here to thank the commission. And because of this advice we gave them they have changed visa request processes online world over.”