Seychelles confirms travel ban on Nigerians over drug trafficking, fraud

THE Republic of Seychelles has confirmed a travel ban on Nigerian tourists due to criminal activities, including drug trafficking and internet fraud.

According to a report by Seychelles News Agency, the country’s Vice-President Ahmed Afif confirmed the development tp journalists. Afif disclosed that some Nigerians have been linked to activities which the country considers to be dangerous to its economy.

“We have seen a clear link between this with certain people from Nigeria. In the past two weeks, for example, 13 people coming from Nigeria have been arrested when entering Seychelles because they were carrying drugs into the country,” the Vice President said.

He, however, noted that Nigerians with diplomatic passports, resident or valid work permits issued by the country would be granted access.

Most Nigerian tourists coming to Seychelles are part of an organised syndicate 

“For the others, the government will keep its eyes open and SEBS (Seychelles Electronic Border System) will analyse much more to find out what reasons they are coming example someone who is coming for a holiday for only one day. We have to ask questions because it is strange and we have seen that happening.

“When we checked the payments made for them to come to Seychelles, it is from only one source. This is for different people coming on different days which shows an organised syndicate,” Afif said.

He added that some Nigerian tourists have duped several establishments of huge funds through the use of false credit cards.

“These people spent free holidays in the country at the expense of the establishment owners and there is nothing that can be done for them.

“There are other online scams originating from Nigeria. We have seen that these people are also coming to Seychelles and doing those scams. We do not have a problem with Nigeria or its people though we do not tolerate such criminal activities in our country.”

Before the confirmation of restrictions by Afif, there were widespread speculations of a possible travel ban on Nigerian tourists following rejection emails received from Seychelles’ Immigration authorities.

The ICIR reported that the ban may have been prompted by growing concerns over the involvement of Nigerian nationals in drug-related activities within the country.






     

     

    President of the Nigerian community in Seychelles Mathias Adidi also stated that a syndicate in Nigeria is involved in smuggling drugs into the country.

    “I am Mathias Adidi the President of the Nigerian community in Seychelles. Please help us inform Nigerians. Someone in Nigeria is sending Nigerians to bring drugs to Seychelles. And is not safe. They are been arrested every day,” Adidi wrote in a post.

    Prior to the ban, Nigerian citizens enjoyed a long-standing visa-free agreement with Seychelles, allowing them to enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.

    About just six months ago, Nigeria and Seychelles signed an agreement for direct flights between the two countries.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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