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Promoters defraud tourists of N4m in Canadian visa scam

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Two promoters of the Victoria Travels Resorts Limited, Mary Aweh and Olaleye Oluwadamilare, have been arraigned before the Kaduna State High Court over a Canadian visa scam.

The two defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on six counts bordering on advance fee fraud.

They were said to have obtained a total sum of N4,240,000 from two persons, Asika Casmir and Daniel Monday, under the pretext of obtaining Canadian visas for them.

The Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Monday, said the complainants engaged the defendants in 2018 to arrange a trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands and paid N1m each.

However, two days to their departure, Aweh allegedly informed them that the trip had been put on hold and offered them Canadian visas as an alternative.

The complainants reportedly accepted the offer and paid N4,240,000 each for the visas, consultancy and air tickets.

Uwujaren said, “After a long wait, Olaleye called and delivered the so-called Canadian visas and Yellow Fever cards. He also informed them that they would be travelling through Kenya. But upon arrival in Nairobi, Asika and Alabi were arrested by Kenyan immigration officials for possession of fake Yellow Fever cards and detained.

“Upon their release, the duo made effort to contact the suspect to get her Kenyan representative to assist with the connecting flight to Canada, but her phone lines were off. The complainants were re-arrested by Kenyan immigration and deported to Nigeria.”

Following the deportation of the complainants, they reported at the EFCC and the defendants were arrested.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their pleas, the prosecutor, Jamil Musa, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial, while the defence counsel, A.L Damsaka, urged the court to grant his clients bail.

 Justice M.T. Tukur granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N2m each and a surety in like sum, adding that the sureties must be of good character and possess evidence of tax payment for the past three years.

He ordered that they be remanded in a custodial centre pending the perfection of their bail terms.

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