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Thousands Of Nigerians Scammed In Fake UK Job Offers, IOM Urges Caution

 In a startling revelation, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) disclosed that over 1,000 Nigerians have fallen victim to scams involving fraudulent job opportunities in the United Kingdom. 

The Chief of Mission, Laurent De Boeck, highlighted the severity of the situation during a news conference held on Monday in Abuja.

Boeck expressed deep concern over the plight of those affected, revealing that some individuals lost substantial amounts, up to $10,000 each, in their desperate pursuit of securing foreign employment.

He explained that these victims were now stranded in the UK, unable to return due to financial constraints, while others faced the shame of confronting their families after falling prey to the scams.

“There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters, which allowed them to get visas.

They get there, present the letters, and the organisations tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organisations.

Over a thousand people are affected,” Boeck stated.

The IOM Chief of Mission underscored the importance of seeking accurate information before embarking on any migration, advising Nigerians to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of foreign job offers.

Highlighting the broader migration landscape, Boeck revealed that over 260,000 Nigerians sought guidance from the agency in 2023 on migrating through legal and approved channels.

Additionally, IOM is actively collaborating with partners to repatriate thousands of individuals, including Nigerians, from Tunisia, which recently imposed a ban on migration.

Boeck addressed the escalating displacements in several states of the North West, attributing the 30 per cent annual increase over the past five years to incidents of banditry and other crimes. Zamfara, in particular, remains severely impacted by these displacements.

“In Kano, people are displaced within, and there are others who have migrated, which is why our offices in Libya and Niger have more migrants originating from Kano,” Boeck stated.

In a comprehensive overview of IOM’s efforts in 2023, Boeck reported the identification and support of 682 victims of trafficking.

The organization prioritized vulnerable groups, including survivors of gender-based violence, persons with disabilities, and unaccompanied and separated children.

IOM collaborated with the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the return of 4,431 Nigerians, providing reintegration assistance to 2,853 individuals engaged in socio-economic opportunities of their choice.

The IOM’s commitment to comprehensive healthcare was evident in their Migration Health efforts, conducting over 260,000 Pre-Departure Medical Health Assessments, diagnosing and referring 166 migrants with tuberculosis, administering 15,000 vaccine doses, and renovating three public hospitals.

 

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