An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Agbetuyi Ademola, has told an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos on how an acclaimed visa agent, Abiodun Abiola Sodiq, allegedly committed a 40,000 euros fraud.
Ademola, who is an investigator attached to the Cybercrime section of the EFCC, told the court that the defendant allegedly defrauded a businessman, Babatunde Emmanuel, of the 40,000 euro on the pretext of procuring a Malta Government Citizenship Investment Programme and a Malta International Passport. Sodiq is standing trial on a seven-count charge bordering on fraud, forgery and conspiracy before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.
Led in evidence by the prosecutor, S.O. Daji, the witness told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence between May and June 2019 in Lagos. According to the investigator, the commission received a petition dated 17th July, 2019 signed by the complainant, Mr. Babatunde Emmanuel.
The witness said: “The petitioner alleged that the defendant introduced him to a Malta’s investment citizens Scheme, whereby he is required to invest the sum of 70, 000 euro and earn 5000 euro annually after five years of the investment, and also be rewarded with a Malta Citizen passport which accords him and his family the full citizenship rights.
“Upon paying the sum of 40, 000, he was handed over four passports, which he thought were issued by Malta international passport. “Based on the claim that it was issued by the Malta government, the complainant travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) on July 4, 2019 with his family using his Nigerian passport and the UK visa issued by the Deputy British High Commission in Lagos, Nigeria.
“When the complainant got to the UK, the defendant collected the sum of 5, 000 euro from him to transfer to Malta investment Scheme so that they can register the Malta passport for him.
While they were waiting for 30, 000 euro balance, he decided to travel to Dublin Ireland using his new citizenship Malta passport, but was surprised when he (complainant) wasn’t allowed entry and rather, the passport was confirmed fake by the Dublin Ireland immigration authorities. “This made the immigration to repatriate him to Manchester where he flew from.
The complainant was detained for four days in Manchester airport under the immigration for the false travelling documents (Malta passport) and was thoroughly interrogated on how he got the passport by the immigration in Manchester airport.”
“After explaining how he got the passports from Sodiq (the defendant), after paying the sum of 40, 000 euro for the Malta Scheme, the petitioner alleged that they cancelled his five years UK visa and banned him from entering into the UK for one year; and was finally deported to Nigeria.”