A syndicate which specialized in smuggling desperate Nigerians to the United State of America, USA, for N1.5 million each has been smashed by the Nigeria Police Special Fraud Unit, Milverton, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Spokesperson for the unit, Ngozi Nsitume-Agu, said the syndicate’s modus operandi included match-making their preys with winners of America visa lottery as couple.
A male teacher in a school around Mafoluku area of Lagos and a female prey from Ekiti were arrested by the unit.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nsitume-Agu, said their was effected following a petition by the Assistant Regional Security Officer to the United States Consulate General alleging that the suspects, Adejayan Adetokunbo and Adebisi Funke “conspired and went to the US Embassy to be interviewed for Immigrant visa to USA as couple, adding that the said marriage was determined to be fraudulent.
“It was also alleged that they were working with touts for the purpose of smuggling Nigerians to the United States of America. The suspects were arrested by the embassy when they came to collect their visa and handed over to SFU.
“Investigation revealed that they were not husband and wife as they claimed. It was an ‘arrangee’ marriage by one Segun and his syndicate who specialized in merging prospective visa seekers together in marriage for onward smuggling to U.S.A.
“Their modus operandi is to merge a lottery visa winner with a non-winner and package both to USA. In this case, N1.5 million was collected from Funke and she was purportedly joined in matrimony with Adejayan Adetokunbo who genuinely won the lottery visa. Both suspects confessed in their statements that they were not husband and wife.”
In his confessional statement, 35-year-old Adetokunbo, native of Ondo Local government Area of Ondo State admitted to have won the visa lottery which he said was entered on his behalf by a friend, adding that the undisclosed friend later instructed him to be attached with a woman when coming.
According to Adetokunbo, the so-called friend introduced him to one Segun who brought Funke for the arranged marriage and subsequent visa interview.
Funke also confessed, but claimed she didn’t know it was anything shady.
The 27-year-old claimed to have paid N1.5 million in two installments to members of the syndicate to process her visa and other charges which included passports, medicals and training, stating that the syndicate played on her gullibility.