VISA FRAUD-Police seizes 41 passports, arrest 5 collaborators

Brigadier General Ater Nicola Alieny, head of Kololo Immigration Office

By Yiep Joseph

Immigration police have confiscated 41 passports belonging to foreign nationals working mostly in the oil sector over visa fraud and arrested five police officers through whom the fake visas were acquired.

Addressing media yesterday, Brig-Gen Ater Nicola Alieny, head of Kololo immigration office revealed that 41 passports whose owners got access visas without fulfilling required procedures and outside the official channel.

“We have confiscated 41 passports due to fraud in visa and arrested some suspects, We are still on the search, we will investigate some companies and NGOs. Some companies got access to visas without requirements and no financial transaction was made [cash receipt] to the Ministry of Finance, so when we discovered this phenomenon, we suspected some of our personnel and officers,” the senior police officer said.

He said individuals working for companies and NGOs including DPOC, GPOC, UNMISS, AAH, ACF, ACTED UNICEF, DPAB, SDHS, GWDC, CPECC colluded with rogue officers and acquired visas without due procedures.

“There are other companies; 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 added.

“These are the companies which have these visas, a total number of 41 visas for durations of one year without any procedure done,” he complained

He warned the staff of the companies and NGOs in question to avoid dubious agents and work directly with the visa department in Kololo.

“I would like to inform these companies and NGOs to never accept any broker, those third-party agents who intervene to ease visa facilitation but to directly work with the visa department in Kololo office,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Bosco Buol Majer, Chief of Visa at Kololo Department of Immigration office said that the 41 fake visas were detected after they were brought to their office for renewal.  

“The suspicion arose when we came to realize that there are some officers and NCOs who work jointly with foreigners to process visas outside our offices. When these visas came to us, we had a system whereby any visa that is issued here must be in the system including the NRA financial form, we also have the bank that is collecting money on behalf of NRA,” he revealed.

“Unfortunately, these passports did not pass through the above procedures and therefore the 41 were detected fake,” Buol said.

He said that the passports confiscated contained one year visa without meeting the necessary requirements and cited that the department responsible for visas did not issue any of the visas in question.

“We do not give you a one-year visa without you meeting the requirements.  Regarding basic requirements, you must have a permanent address, you must have a business you are running, you must have an operating license, you must have a work permit acquired from the ministry of labour among others,” he said.   

The officer added that the Immigration prices for visas are in the Financial Act and can’t be determined by a single individual.

“The price for a visa is in the financial Act, the financial Act is a law that we are using, we don’t determine visa fees but they are determined by the Ministry of Finance and collected by NRA,” he stressed.

“These people go and collect the money and do not remit to the government which means these are unscrupulous officials who want to misuse government resources, and that is why we are distancing ourselves from them,” he said  

He also stated that the Directorate of Civil Registry, Passport and Immigration does not have agents but deals directly with clients.

“I want to urge all the NGOs, the Internationals organizations and the companies especially our oil engineering companies who had many foreigners to directly deal with the Kololo immigration office,” he said.  

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