Nigerians Abroad And Crime


The number of Nigerians arrested in recent times in various countries for engaging in criminal activities is worrisome as it is tarnishing the image of our country. Over the past few weeks, many of our citizens have been nabbed in virtually all the continents for engaging in various types of crimes, especially fraud.

A few days ago, Ademola Adegoke was arrested by security and law enforcement agents in the United States over different forms of fraud estimated at $2 million (about N300 million). According to the U.S. authorities, Adegoke had been operating a crime syndicate that specialised in wire fraud, identity theft and access device fraud. He was based in Ghana and was defrauding mainly American and Canadian citizens.

On 16 June, a Nigerian was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a magistrate in a World Cup dedicated court for being unlawfully in possession of 30 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets.

Kunle Benjamin was arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, after a police complaints vehicle noticed him driving erratically through the streets. As the suspect was acting suspiciously, it was decided to search him and the 30 tickets were discovered.

The police investigating officer checked the tickets with a FIFA ticketing office and it was discovered that they were purchased by two men via the internet and that their addresses could not be verified.

Recently, another Nigerian was arrested in Noida, India, over credit card fraud. Oyebaniji Kamoru Sunday, 22, was arrested at a shopping mall. According to A.K. Tripathi, an Indian Superintendent of Police, Sunday was residing at Madangir in Delhi and had come to the GIP mall for shopping.

He had previously shopped on two different occasions using a fake credit card. Getting suspicious, a retail outlet’s staffer informed the police about him. Sunday was arrested when he again went for shopping using the same credit card.

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Only last week, another Nigerian was arrested by Zimbabwean authorities for attempting to move some Somali citizens to South Africa under the guise that they were abused Zimbabweans seeking asylum in South Africa. The list is endless.

These Nigerians engage in financial crimes mostly for greed and for the desire to live big and deceive those back home that they have made it in foreign lands. After making this illegal money, these unpatriotic Nigerians come back home and claim that they had worked very hard abroad. They then go on spending spree, buy fancy cars and build big houses in highbrow areas.

They give a false impression that it is milk and honey in other lands and encourage poverty stricken youths to take a cue from them. As a result, many Nigerian youths try hard to get foreign visas. Many go into human trafficking and even drug smuggling to enable them ‘check out’ of the country. Some travel for months in the desert or sea and some eventually die before they get to Europe or America.

Even some graduates have been deceived into believing that their future is brighter in Europe or America than in Nigeria. Most end up engaging in crimes once they reach their destination and are awakened by realities.

We call on Nigerian youths to understand that they can succeed in Nigeria, Europe or America without engaging in crime, which does not pay in the long run. Life in Europe or America can be as difficult as it is in Nigeria. Crime is not the solution. Hard work pays in the long run as you can enjoy the fruit of your labour with peace of mind.

We also call on the Nigerian government to create massive employment opportunities for the teeming youths to engage them fully and prevent them from embracing crime as a last resort. It is because the country is very hostile to the youths that they go abroad in search of the elusive greener pasture.

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