Indian national arrested in Lagos over visa scam
The Nigeria Police have arrested a Dubai-based Indian national, Mr Mohammed Shazul, for allegedly procuring a Dubai visa using a Nigerian man’s name without his consent.
Sources close to Federal Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department (FCIID) Annex, Alagbon Close, Lagos, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
The source said that operatives from the FCIID arrested Shazul after a petition by the Nigerian, Mr Ayodotun Babalola, to the police authorities.
It said the Indian, Vice-President of Fast Logistics Solution Group, an air cargo company based in Dubai was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Monday on arrival from Dubai.
“When the Inspector-General of Police got the petition dated Aug. 19, 2015, he sent it through the DIG, FCIID to the “X’’ Squad Annex, Lagos for investigation.
“The operatives have been on the trail of the suspect and others involved in the crime.
“After his arrest at the airport, he put up a call to the EFCC operatives, who after speaking with police told him to follow the operatives to Alagbon,’’ the source told NAN.
A copy of the petition, made available to NAN, alleged that the suspect, the President of the company, one Al-Ameen Kerala and others, used his International Passport data page to obtain visa without his consent.
The petition indicated that they allegedly used his name to obtain the visa and held on to it to prevent him from travelling to Dubai to transact his business with other companies.
“I am still being intimidated and my rights are being abused by depriving me from travelling to Dubai for business.
“This has cost me lot of breach of contract and defamation of character internationally.
“I am pleading with the police to help me to retrieve my visa and also stop them from causing harm to my personality and my family in future,’’ the petition said.
Speaking to NAN on the issue, the petitioner, Babalola, said Al-Ameen Kerala was his business partner, adding that the relationship turned sour when he demanded for 49 per cent shares in the company.
Babalola said he was shocked when he attempted to obtain visa to Dubai but was told that he had earlier obtained one.
He said that after his investigation; he was able to trace the visa scam to one Citadel Toss company.
“I applied for a visa to Dubai only to discover that my name has been used to obtain a visa without my knowledge. The company is Citadel Toss Company.
“When I contacted Citadel Toss Company, they told me they have strict instruction from their client, (the suspect) not to hand over the visa to anybody even if the owner comes until further instruction from him.
“Their plan was to ensure that I don’t get visa to Dubai to do my business.
“I see my visa as my personal document and on that note I couldn’t travel again because I was restricted.
“I had to petition the Inspector-General of Police to complain officially to seek redress on the matter,’’ the complainant said.
Babalola said that currently, one of the directors of the company, who is also an accomplice, had been arrested in Lagos.
“He is currently under questioning by the police. There was a meeting scheduled for both parties by the police on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and was at FCIID, Alagbon Close,’’ he said.
When contacted, the Police spokesman at the FCIID Annex, SP Achibong Asukwor, confirmed the arrest, saying that the Indian was released on bail on Monday night after questioning.
Asukwor said that the police had begun investigation into the matter.
When NAN encountered the suspect and his counsel who refused to mention his name at the EFCC office, Ikoyi, on Wednesday, they declined comment on the matter.