The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has in its custody 372 international passports recovered from several persons and agents.
The recovery is part of an ongoing clampdown on corruption-prone processes in the acquisition of visas.
The Commission has directed owners of the recovered passports to appear at its headquarters, located at Plot 802 Constitution Avenue, Zone A9, Central Business District Area, Abuja between 19th and 28th February 2014 from 10am to 3pm each day, excluding weekends.
The affected persons are to come along with proof of ownership and the travel documents supporting their visa applications to respective embassies to collect their passports.
It will be recalled that ICPC operatives, had in October 2013, arrested 18 suspects in Abuja and Lagos. Three of them were allegedly involved in the production of fake documents to satisfy visa requirements, while one was in possession of suspicious travel documents. The rest were either arrested with forged public documents or for allegedly colluding with someone in India to procure a fake invitation letters from an Indian Hospital. Culpable ones have since been arraigned in courts.
ICPC had initiated several arrests after receiving an ever increasing number of petitions from prospective students seeking educational placement and patients seeking medical attention abroad who were duped by some agents.
It will be recalled that ICPC had issued a “Visa Scam Press Advisory” last year warning intending travelers of the consequences of patronising and using dubious travel agents and touts to obtain visas through corrupt practices.
Travellers were further advised to use verifiable documents and only deal with official and registered travel and appropriate government Agencies.
ICPC is delighted that these investigations and arrests have led to significant changes in visa administration by respective government departments, Travel Agencies, embassies and travelers.