BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA & IfEANYI OKOLIE
LAGOS — The Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, in Lagos, yesterday, paraded six persons, including a couple, over alleged visa fraud at the Italian Embassy.
Mrs Ngozi Isintume-Agu, spokesperson of the unit, who paraded the suspects, said they were arrested after receiving a petition from the Italian Consulate-General, alleging visa fraud by the couple.
Isintume-Agu said the couple, Ayinmola Alabi and his wife, Toyin, appeared at the embassy for a Visitor’s Visa, along with two young ladies, ages 19 and 21, who they claimed were their daughters, bearing Yoruba names.
She said the couple allegedly changed the ladies names from Edo to Yoruba, with a view to deceiving the embassy officials.
The spokesperson said one of the six suspects paraded, who allegedly specialises in visa fraud, reportedly facilitated the connection between the couple and the ladies.
“The petition also alleged that page five of the International Passports of the two ‘fake’ daughters seemed to have been tampered with as well as that of their mother.
“The petitioner further stated that the daughters’ passports contained suspicious entry/exit stamps of the Ghana Immigration Service.
“The GT Bank and FirstBank Statements of Accounts submitted by the suspects were seen to have been altered and forged.
“The six suspects were arrested and interrogated in connection with the allegation and they all made confessional statements of using deception to obtain visas from the Italian embassy.
“They will be charge to court soon to serve as deterrent to others,” she added.
According to one of the victims, Aisosa Uwailomwan, Mr. and Mrs Alabi were not her biological parents but were attached to them by Emmanuel Olayimola Damule for the purpose of procuring the Italian visa.
She also said she was introduced to Mrs. Anthonia Aworawo who lives in France and who wanted her to come to France to assist her in her daycare business.
She also revealed that Emmanuel Olayimola Damule tortured her to say that she was a 200-level Economics student of Lead City University, Ibadan and gave her all the forged documents, including the passport with the name Rita Alabi.
According to Endurance Osaigede, the second victim, the same Anthonia Aworawo wanted her to join her in France. That it was Anthonia and her husband, Jonathan Aworawo, who lives in Farce that introduced Emma to her who in turn set up the so-called Mr. and Mrs Alabi as her parents after changing her name to Racheal Alabi.
Speaking to newsmen during the parade of the suspects, DSP Ngozi Isintume Agu, Police Public Relations Officer, Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi Lagos noted that the crime was the brainwork of Emmanuel Olayimola Damule who operates with a syndicate that specialised in procuring fake documents.
Although the couple refused to speak to media, alleging that the issue was twisted, and that others who were caught in similar circumstances have been released, but they were being branded human traffickers because they didn’t have money and connection.