ICPC Seizes 372 International Passports

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday said it had in its custody 372 international passports recovered from several persons and agents.

A statement issued by its spokesperson, Mr. Folu Olamiti, the ICPC said the recovery was part of an ongoing clampdown on corruption-prone processes in the acquisition of visas, and called on travellers to use verifiable documents and only deal with official and registered travel and appropriate government agencies.

ICPC operatives had in October 2013, arrested 18 suspects in Abuja and Lagos. Three of them were allegedly involved in the production of fake documents to satisfy visa requirements, while one was in possession of suspicious travel documents.

The rest were either arrested with forged public documents or for allegedly colluding with someone in India to procure fake invitation letters from an Indian Hospital.

Culpable ones had since been arraigned in courts.

ICPC had initiated the arrests after receiving an increasing number of petitions from prospective students seeking educational placement and patients seeking medical attention abroad who were duped by some agents.

The statement further said the commission had directed owners of the recovered passports to appear at its headquarters in Abuja with proof of ownership and the travel documents supporting their visa applications to respective embassies to collect their passports.

ICPC, while vowing to do more in sanitising the visa acquisition process in the country, said it was delighted that these investigations and arrests had led to significant changes in visa administration by respective government departments, travel agencies, embassies and travellers.

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