Britons Charged With Visa Fraud


Two Britons have been arrested in Lagos and charged with visa fraud before a Federal High Court.

The accused, Ian Cunliff and Ofir More were to be arraigned today for forgery and impersonation but the matter was adjourned till 24 May 2012.

In a 16-count criminal charge, FHC/L/54c/12, filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos by Immigration Legal Officer, D. I. Babale, the two Britons, Ian Cunliff of 4, Wumego Crescent, Christ Avenue, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki and Ofir More, British citizen of Media Park, 40d River Road, Barking, England and three other companies, C25 Nigeria Limited, WTC International Holdings Nigeria Limited and WTC UK Limited on 28 September, 2011 allegedly conspired to forge Nigerian visa in the British passport of Ian Cunliff.

The accused persons at the same time and place were also alleged to have conspired to forge expartriate quota approval with reference number MIA/B/3939/1/41 on 28 September, 2011 of the Ministry of Interior.

They were alleged to have forged the signature of the Director, Citizenship and Business of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Adetayo Sode, whose signature was on the forged expartriate quota approval.

Other documents forged by the accused Britons are business permit with number FMI/B/3939/1/43 of the Federal Ministry of Interior.

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They allegedly forged grant of business permit.

The accused were also alleged to have impersonated the Director of Citizens and Business Department, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Adetayo Sode.

The offences of forgery and impersonation alleged to have been committed by the Britons and their companies are contrary to Sections 465 and 484 and punishable under Section 47(1) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

In prosecuting the case, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Legal Officer has lined up three witnesses. They are Isa Bukar who is a Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, the Director of Citizenship and Business Department, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Adetayo Sode and Deputy Director, Citizenship and Business Department, Ministry of Interior, Abuja.

The prosecutor also filed six exhibits. The trial judge, Justice Binta Muritala Nyako adjourned the matter.

—Akin Kuponiyi

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