Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State have apprehended two girls with tampered passports.
The suspects: Adebayo Kazeem and Babalola Kehinde, were about to board a Cairo-bound Egypt Airline flight on Thursday, but the Migration Information and Data Analysis System failed to scan their passports due to “an imposed fake identity of the true holder.”
NIS spokesman, DCI Sunday James, disclosed the information in a statement.
According to James, the suspects were duly subjected to interrogation when caught against their claim of traveling for business as the journey was an arranged one by a suspect who they claimed to be their Agent, simply identified as Muri, whose number was called several times without response.
He stated that Muri was alleged to be behind the processing of the tampered passports with a man’s picture on the chip when read by the MIDAS scanner, an offence punishable by the Immigration Act 2015 on Passport related offences relating to aiding, identity theft and tampering with the passport.
The spokesman noted that the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has directed that a thorough investigation be carried out to expose the syndicates behind this act, and the two passports withdrawn as evidence and kept in custody until Muri is located.
He said the two suspects are witnesses for the prosecution of the agent, whenever he is found.
James said that CGI Babandede therefore warned prospective applicants for the Nigerian passport from allowing criminal elements to take undue advantage of their desperation to perpetrate crimes such as these, that is punishable by imprisonment and or fine in an attempt to procure passport for traveling out of country.
The spokesman added that the two girls are presently helping the Nigeria Immigration Service with useful informations that will help in the arrest of Muri for prosecution of the case.