For visa fraud in South Sudan, five police officers were apprehended, and 41 passports were seized.
Immigration police have seized 41 passports belonging to foreign nationals working largely in the oil industry over visa fraud and detained five police officials through whom the false visas were obtained.
Addressing reporters yesterday, Brig-Gen Ater Nicola Alieny, chief of the Kololo immigration office, said that 41 passports whose owners received entry visas without following the needed processes and outside the official channel.
“We have seized 41 passports owing to fraud in visa and detained several individuals, We are continuing on the hunt, we will examine certain corporations and NGOs.
“Some organizations had access to visas without conditions and no financial transaction was made [cash receipt] to the Ministry of Finance, so when we found these phenomena, we suspected some of our people and officers,” the senior police official added.
He stated those working for corporations and NGOs like DPOC, GPOC, UNMISS, AAH, ACF, ACTED UNICEF, DPAB, SDHS, GWDC, CPECC cooperated with rogue officials and secured visas without necessary processes.
“There are additional firms; SPECC, UNI-AFRO, NPVF 15-CORDAID Star Contracting Co, Samaritans Purse, Concern Worldwide, Allied Service, Palm Africa Hotel, Link Hotel, MSF, World Vision, and ICRC among others,” he continued.
“These are the organizations which have these visas, a total amount of 41 visas for durations of one year without any process done,” he said
He cautioned the personnel of the firms and NGOs in issue to avoid questionable middlemen and cooperate directly with the immigration department in Kololo.
“I would want to advise these enterprises and NGOs to never accept any broker, those third-party agents who interfere to ease visa facilitation but to directly engage with the visa department at Kololo office,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Bosco Buol Majer, Chief of Visa at Kololo Department of Immigration office revealed that the 41 bogus visas were identified after they were presented to their office for renewal.
“The suspicion emerged when we came to learn that certain officers and NCOs who work together with foreigners to handle visas outside our offices.” When these visas arrive at us, we have a procedure wherein each visa that is given here must be in the system, including the NRA financial form. We also have the bank that is collecting money on behalf of the NRA, ”he disclosed.
“Unfortunately, these passports did not pass through the aforesaid steps and so the 41 were found fake,” Buol added.
He added that the passports collected had one year visa without completing the requisite conditions and highlighted that the department responsible for visas did not issue any of the visas in question.
We do not offer you a one-year visa without satisfying the conditions. Regarding fundamental prerequisites, “you must have a permanent address, you must have a company you are running, you must have an operational license, and you must have a work permit received from the ministry of labor, among others,” he stated.
The official noted that the Immigration costs for visas are in the Financial Act and can’t be established by a single person.
“The price for a visa is in the financial Act, the financial Act is a legislation that we are utilizing, we don’t decide visa costs but they are established by the Ministry of Finance and collected by NRA,” he added.
“These individuals go and collect the money and do not pay to the government which implies these are unethical officials who seek to exploit government resources, and that is why we are distancing ourselves from them,” he added
He further added that the Directorate of Civil Registry, Passport and Immigration does not employ agents but works directly with customers.
“I want to advise all the NGOs, the Internationals organizations and the firms notably our oil engineering companies that have many foreigners to directly deal with the Kololo immigration office,” he stated.