Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has confiscated dozens of passports from different countries during a routine screening at Lagos Airport.
According to the agency, authorities have confiscated 22 passports from six different countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Portugal.
The passports were hidden in a flour bag among other food items, TheSchengen.com reports.
“At Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, activists in the airport’s SAHCO export shed, during their routine check of cargo, intercepted a consignment of 22 international passports for six different countries hidden in my neighbor’s bag, among other foodstuffs,” came In the statement issued by an NDLEA spokesperson.
However, the authorities have not issued an official statement as to why these documents were hidden or even brought into the country.
Among the passports seized, three each had official documents issued in the United Kingdom, France and Portugal. The rest are eight Nigerian passports, four Ghanaian and one Cameron passport.
Nine of the passports were three each from the United Kingdom, France and Portugal, while the rest were: Nigeria (8); Ghana (4) and Cameroon (1),” the NDLEA’a statement reads as well.
The responsible authorities are now investigating the case and have not yet revealed more details about these documents.
Passports from different countries, especially those that are part of the EU/Schengen area, are often misused, as well as falsified due to the power they have when it comes to traveling without having to hold a valid visa.
Earlier in January, Irish authorities sentenced two people to prison for facilitating illegal entry into the country. The convicted persons were involved in a criminal group that provided the citizens of Georgia with false documents. By using fake passports, foreigners were able to get into Ireland illegally.
An investigation into this case began in 2018. It was revealed that the arrested persons were responsible for the large number of Georgians who entered Ireland from 2017 until 2020.
However, as the two people involved in this particular case are not legal citizens of Ireland, they were only sentenced to two years in prison.
EU/Schengen area countries use the Schengen Information System (SIS) to control illegal actions. This system is the most widely used IT system for controlling public security across Europe. The system enables member states to examine and share data on missing, banned or wanted persons.