A Lagos-based trader, Abraham Epelle, has been arrested by the state police command for his alleged involvement in a visa fraud worth N3.6m.
Epelle reportedly collected the sum from one Ikechukwu Uzor, a resident of Ajangbadi area of the state, to help the man process a South Korean visa, a flight ticket and accommodation in the Asian country.
City Round learnt that Epelle used the sum for his parents’ burial and procured a fake visa for Uzor.Having discovered that the visa was fake upon its presentation at the South Korean embassy, the victim reported a case of fraud at the Okota Police Station and Epelle was arrested.
The suspect reportedly owned up to the crime and was released on bail after he promised to refund Uzor’s money by February 2019. It was gathered that he stopped the repayment after paying N300,000.
The complainant was said to have petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Muazu, and he was rearrested.Uzor told the police that one Princess introduced him to Epelle, who deals in wear, to help him process the visa, the flight ticket and facilitate his accommodation in South Korea.
He said Epelle charged him N4m for the services but they agreed on N3.6m after negotiations, adding that the suspect assured him that the visa would be ready soon.Uzor, a businessman, stated that he became worried when Epelle did not get him the visa several months after.
He stated, “The whole transaction started in August 2017.
I paid N3.6m into his account but he failed to keep to his promise of processing the visa within weeks.“When I mounted pressure on him, he collected my passport and gave me a fake South Korean visa some days later.
“I took the visa to the South Korean Embassy for verification and it was confirmed that it was fake. I then reported the case to the police and he promised to refund my money. After he paid N300,000, he defaulted.
”The suspect, who admitted to have collected the sum from Uzor, said he gave N140,000 to one Linus, who is at large, to process the visa.
He said he used the remaining sum to celebrate the burial of his parents, who died around the period he collected the money from Uzor.He said, “I am from Abia State.
I came to Lagos in 2016 and started dealing in second-hand wear.“Sometime in August 2017, one Princess introduced Uzor to me to help him process South Korean visa, get a flight ticket and accommodation.
He paid N3.6m in instalment into my account.“I collected his passport and gave it to Mr Linus, who is an importer, for the visa processing. I gave him N140,000 but did not get any result from him.
I lost my mother and father within two months’ interval and I used the money for their burial.“When Uzor started disturbing me about his visa, I went to a computer business centre and got a fake visa for him.
I have refunded N300,000 out of the money I collected from him.”The suspect was subsequently brought before an Ikeja Magistrates Court sitting in Ogba on five counts bordering on fraud.A police prosecutor, ASP Benson Emuerhi, told the court that the offence contravened sections 280(1)(a), 314(1)(3), 365(1), 370(a)(b) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The charge read in part, “That you, Abraham Epelle, and others now at large, sometime in August 2017, at Isolo Okota Road, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit obtaining the sum of N3.6m from one Ikechukwu Uzor, with the pretence to help him to procure South Korean visa, which you know to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314(1)(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
”The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.The presiding magistrate, Mrs. O. Sule-Hamzat, granted him bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case to June 17, 2019.