Seychelles gives reason for banning Nigerian tourists

The government of Seychelles has explained reason for banning Nigerian passport holders visiting for holiday purposes.

Prior to the ban, Nigeria enjoyed a long-standing visa-free agreement with Seychelles, allowing citizens to enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.

In a chat with reporters in Abuja, the Vice President of Seychelles, Ahmed Afif disclosed that Nigerians with diplomatic passports, valid work or resident permits issued by the island nation will be allowed to enter.

“For the others, the government will keep its eyes open and Seychelles Electronic Border System will analyse much more to find out what reasons they are coming-for 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”, Afif disclosed.

He added that there were many instances where several Nigerians came into the country with payment from one 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.

The Vice President explained that in the past year, especially the past few months, the government has observed “a tendency that we have deemed as dangerous for our border control and economy, due to criminal activities happening in the country.

“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”.

He added that in the past months, there have been incidents where Nigerians have used false credit cards at tourist establishments.

“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 disclosed.

The Vice President also outlined that there have been other incidents implicating financial institutions and in one case Nigerians were involved in a fraud where £1 million was lost.

“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”, Afif said.

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