The Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Lagos, on Sunday expressed concern over increasing number of Nigerians allegedly involved in using fake documents to seek Italian visa.
The spokesperson of the unit, Lawal Audu, disclosed this in Lagos on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said the Italian Embassy sends an average of 50 Nigerian Passports with fake document to SFU monthly.
Mr. Audu noted that before now, Canada used to complain of such high numbers of fake documents, adding that attention had shifted to Italy now.
“The Italian Embassy sent to SFU about 50 Nigerian Passports monthly with complaints of forged documents.
“We have charged more than 15 persons to court for presenting fake document between January and May, 2017.
“Documents the applicants always forged include bank statements, health insurance certificates, invitation letters from Italy, letters of introduction and letter of employment from multinational companies.
“Italian Consulate normally checks all supporting document for any applicant. They are very meticulous in checking.
“We have many passports with such complaints in large numbers.
“Once any embassy or high commission discovers irregularities in any application, they request the applicant to come to SFU for clearance; many never came to us.
“After waiting for some time, we go out to look for such applicants.
“Many of the applicants used fake names and addresses. Even their mobile phone numbers are with fake names and addresses. Some phone numbers have babies’ names for registration,” Mr. Audu noted.
The image maker said that a major challenge faced by the unit was difficulty in tracking applicants due to lack of national data for identity.
Mr. Audu said that two men, who allegedly specialised in forging visa payment slips and fake visa procurement, were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lagos Island.
He said that the suspects, aged 28 and 31 respectively, were arrested after a complaint by the American Embassy on the use of fake receipt to seek for their visa.
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