VIP Express confirms arrest of staff, denies role in alleged N70m visa scam

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VIP Express Tourism Limited has confirmed that it is currently cooperating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), regarding an investigation into the written contractual relationship between the company and certain aggrieved members (customers).

VIP Express Tourism Limited also confirms that the EFCC arrested and detained the general manager, Samuel Owoseni, and the financial controller, Mr. Magi Banabas, from Monday, 29 June 2015 to Tuesday, 30 June 2015, based on complaints received regarding the written contractual transactions entered into between the company and certain aggrieved members (customers).

It stated that a court proceeding is currently pending at the FCT High Court initiated by VIP Express Tourism Limited against aggrieved members (customers) and other third parties. The court proceeding relates to untrue and defamatory statements made by the parties on public platforms.

It however refutes the allegations that it defrauded members (customers) by claiming to provide embassy-issued visas or holiday accommodation packages that did not materialize, stating that all fully paid-up members are entitled to their holiday accommodation packages subject to the terms and condition as stipulated in their contract with the company.

VIP Express Tourism Limited in a response to news report by New Mail on the arrests of two of its principal officials in relation to an allege N70m visa scam, said that it has never promised to, or been in a positon to, secure visas for its customers.

“Visas and other required access documents are issued by the embassy representing the country to which the customer is travelling.

“VIP Express Tourism Limited does issue a letter of introduction for the member (customer) to present at the embassy when applying for a visa.

“However, it is important to note that embassies have the exclusive discretion to issue or decline a visa application. It is the member’s (customer’s) responsibility to meet the visa issuance criteria in order to travel,” it said in a statement by its media agency.

It insisted that VIP Express Tourism Limited continues to operate within the confines of the law and will cooperate fully with all lawful authorities.

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