Seychelles has finally shed light on why it decided to keep Nigerians out of the country.
The ban is due to widespread stereotypes against Nigerians in various African nations, including South Africa.
Vice President Ahmed Afif addressed the press, stating that the surge in drug trafficking and fraudulent behaviour was the reason for prohibiting Nigerian tourists.
However, Afif clarified that Nigerians with diplomatic passports or valid work/resident permits issued by Seychelles would still be allowed entry.
“For the others, the government will keep its eyes open and SEBS (Seychelles Electronic Border System) will analyse much more to find out what reasons they are coming example someone who is coming for a holiday for only one day.
“We have to ask questions because it is strange and we have seen that happening,” explained Afif.
He further revealed multiple instances where many Nigerians claimed to be on vacation, but their stays were extremely short.
Afif mentioned that when they examined the payments made for these individuals’ trips to Seychelles, they noticed that all the payments came from one account.
“When we checked the payments made for them to come to Seychelles, it is from only one source. This is for different people coming on different days which shows an organised syndicate,” said Afif.
The vice president emphasized that over the past year, especially in recent months, the government had noticed a troubling trend that posed a threat to border control and the economy due to criminal activities.
“We have seen a clear link between this with certain people from Nigeria. In the past two weeks, for example, 13 people coming from Nigeria have been arrested when entering Seychelles because they were carrying drugs into the country,” said the vice president.
He further recounted incidents where Nigerians had used counterfeit credit cards at tourist establishments.
“In one case, 62 Nigerians who said they were on holiday used false credit cards, and the money was never credited to the accounts of these establishments.
“These establishments have lost money. These people spent free holidays in the country at the expense of the establishment owners and there is nothing that can be done for them,” Afif said.
Afif also mentioned other incidents involving financial institutions, including a fraud case where £1-million was lost and Nigerians were involved.
Last Saturday, discussions began on social media platforms regarding an alleged ban on Nigerian passport holders seeking holiday visits to Seychelles.
This speculation arose after a Twitter user shared a screenshot of a purportedly rejected entry application from SEBS.