By EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — The Nigeria Police  Special Fraud Unit, Milverton, Ikoyi has smashed a syndicate which specialized in smuggling desperate Nigerians to the United State of America, USA, for N1.5 million each.

The syndicate’s modus oparandi, according to spokesperson for the unit, Ngozi Nsitume-Agu, included  match-making their preys with winners of America visa lottery as couple.

Currently, a male teacher in a  school around Mafoluku area of the state and a female prey from Ekiti were arrested by the unit.

Their arrest, according to Nsitume-Agu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, 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.

Modus operandi

“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.

He further claimed that the so-called friend  introduced him to one Segun who brought  Funke for the arranged marriage and subsequent interview and visa.

On her part,  27-year-old Funke 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.

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