Seychelles Island authorities have said that an upsurge in drug trafficking and fraudulent activities by Nigerian passport holders has compelled them to strengthen their border controls against Nigerian passport holders.
The Vice President of Seychelles, Ahmed Afif, told reporters on Thursday, July 13, that Nigerians with diplomatic passports and legitimate work or residency permits given by the island country would be permitted to visit.
“For the others, the government will keep its eyes open and SEBS (Seychelles Electronic Border System) will analyse much more to find out what reasons they are coming example someone who is coming for a holiday for only one day. We have to ask questions because it is strange and we have seen that happening,” he said
He further said that there were several cases when multiple Nigerians entered the country with money from a single source.
“When we checked the payments made for them to come to Seychelles, it is from only one source. This is for different people coming on different days which shows an organised syndicate,” said Afif.
He said that the administration has detected “a tendency that we have deemed as dangerous for our border control and economy, due to criminal activities occurring in the country” in the last year, particularly in the last few months.
“We have seen a clear link between this with certain people from Nigeria. In the past two weeks, for example, 13 people coming from Nigeria have been arrested when entering Seychelles because they were carrying drugs into the country,” said the Vice President.
He also said that there have been incidences in recent months when Nigerians have used fraudulent credit cards at tourist facilities.
“In one case, 62 Nigerians who said they were on holiday used false credit cards, and the money was never credited to the accounts of these establishments. These establishments have lost money. These people spent free holidays in the country at the expense of the establishment owners and there is nothing that can be done for them,” Afif said.
He also said that there have been other incidences involving financial institutions, and in one case, Nigerians were involved in a £1 million scam.
“There are other online scams originating from Nigeria. We have seen that these people are also coming to Seychelles and doing those scams. We do not have a problem with Nigeria or its people though we do not tolerate such criminal activities in our country,” said Afif.