By Biodun Busari
A Cypriot journalist Esra Aygin has revealed that Nigerians become victims of trafficking, sex slavery, and abuses including killings in the hands of their compatriots in Cyprus.
Aygin said most of them who are students travel to Cyprus do so because of many promises their fellow Nigerians have for them but eventually do not work out.
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The journalist disclosed this in reaction to a statement by the Chairperson, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa that Nigerians should avoid Northern Cyprus where they become victims of murder.
According to Aygin, a correspondent with Reporters Without Borders and former reporter at the Associated Press and Bloomberg, Nigerians who reside in Cyprus deceive unsuspecting fellowmen to come with the promise of heaven on earth.
Why Nigerians suffer in Cyprus
She said they promise them migrating to countries under European Union, job opportunities and money.
Aygin said, “Agents, who themselves have been students here, and who are called ‘mama’ deceive students with false promises of schools and jobs.
“The students are told they would be going on to an EU member state, that they will have job opportunities and make a lot of money in euros.
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“They are made to pay for their tickets and rent upfront, and they end up coming here already indebted.
She wrote as a guest columnist in Cyprus Mail on Saturday that “Usually, the students, who come here, are poor students, who cannot afford to go to Europe or America.
Aygin titled the column ‘Nigerians are both victims and perpetrators of crime in north.”
“These students usually spend all their family’s savings to come here. In a short time, they realise that the scholarships or jobs promised to them were false, that life is expensive, and that they cannot survive here unless they (sometimes illegally) make money. This leads them to fall into the hands of criminal groups.
“Today, many illegal activities including money laundering are carried out by Nigerians, who have come into the country on student visas, but who have nothing to do with schools here.
“These people are spending lavishly and laundering serious amounts of money in this country.”
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