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UAE denies suspension of visas to Nigerians

The United Arab Emirate has denied stopping issuance of visas to Nigerians wishing to visit the country.

The report had been rife that the country had cancelled all visas issued to Nigerians and that all those with valid visas in the country have had them cancelled.

The reports which emanated from Twitter have been denied by an official of the UAE embassy in Nigeria. A Twitter account had said the step was taken as a result of the “Hushpuppi effect”. A Nigerian who was recently arrested in Dubai for alleged fraud. He has since been extradited to the United States of America where he is standing trial for massive credit card fraud.

Hushpuppi, whose real name is Ramoni Igbalode, was arrested in June, alongside some other Nigerians, including Olalekan Ponle aka Woodbery.

The suspects were arrested for crimes allegedly committed outside the UAE, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, impersonation, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft worth Dh1.6 billion (an estimated N168 billion).

The false report had said the UAE has put on hold the renewal and issuance of various categories of visa to Nigerians.

According to the claimant, in addition to suspending visa issuance and renewal, the country also stopped approving permanent residency and tourist visa for Nigerians.

“All previously issued visa invalid,” the user also said, adding that “all visas for those presently in Dubai expires next week”.

He then added a relief window for those stranded, asking them to contact a particular number for assistance.

But an official of the UAE embassy in Nigeria said no such policies were issued by the country.

The official said the UAE still issues and renews visa for Nigerians, adding: “I am not aware of such thing is done”.

There is also no such information published either on the embassy’s website or on that of the UAE naturalisation, residency, and ports (NRP) department.

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