The Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, says its collaboration with foreign embassies in Nigeria has helped to reduce the incidence of visa scams through sustained arrests and issuance of advisories.
ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, made this known last Wednesday when the Indian Commissioner to Nigeria, A.R. Ghanashyam, paid him a courtesy in his office in Abuja.
Nta stated that ICPC had in the last one year arrested 32 persons for visa related offences pertaining to the Indian High Commission and that thirteen of them have been charged to court in Abuja & Lagos.
He said the commission commenced investigations of visa scam two years ago following an invitation from the United States Embassy, adding that the successful investigations generated similar invitations from other embassies.
The ICPC boss said the commission was also collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and banks on the issue, and is going to organize a public sensitization workshop where it will invite all embassies and trading communities to educate them on the issues involved in securing travel documents.
Nta noted that in the course of investigations 325 international passports were seized from various visa agents.
He therefore called on Nigerians whose passports were seized to come to ICPC and collect them.
In other to enhance good business ethics, Nta informed the High Commissioner that ICPC had, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, prepared a draft National Policy on Integrity and Ethics which “is being vetted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation”.
Earlier, the India High Commissioner commended the ICPC for assisting in tackling the challenges of visa scams.
He said his high commission had recently introduced online application so that applicants would no longer need to go through third parties to apply for Indian visas henceforth.
He advised that applicants intending to go to India for medical, business and educational reasons to be factual and seek consular assistance when in doubt.