Fraudsters scam Nigerians with Russia World Cup passes

first_imgPutin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Russian charity Alternativa said it had helped about 50 Nigerians stranded in Russia and estimated there were about 200 in difficulty overall.“With globalization, the opportunities for criminals are also increasing. The Fan IDs make an extremely profitable business for them,” said the group’s spokeswoman, Yulia Siluyanova.‘Natural’ problem Siluyanova told AFP on Thursday that authorities in cooperation with Alternativa had made arrangements for about 20 stranded Nigerians to be flown back home.Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing that the issue of stranded fans was “not desirable but it’s also natural”.“It’s really a problem that primarily the fans themselves should resolve along with diplomatic and consular missions of their countries,” she said.The Nigerian embassy did not respond to requests for comment.“You can’t rule out that some of the foreign guests, taking advantage of visiting the World Cup, are counting in some way or another, usually illegally, on crossing the Russian border and entering one of the European countries,” Zakharova said.“If such an action is recognized as illegal, the relevant authorities will take the necessary administrative measures,” Zakharova also said.Lesson learnt Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Others said they came to watch World Cup matches but got stranded when their return plane tickets, booked by bogus travel agencies, were cancelled.Ismail Olamilekan, 21, and his brother Sodiq, 25, said they paid 250,000 naira or $700 each to a man in Lagos for their Fan IDs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“The man told us that with the Fan ID we could get a job and stay here,” Ismail told AFP at a hostel on the outskirts of Moscow.“But when we got here we discovered that it was a fraud, that he had just collected the money and lied to us,” he added. 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But some agents sold them to Nigerians who wanted to come to Russia to work.It was not clear how the bogus agents obtained the Fan IDs that they sold.A FIFA spokesman stressed that the Fan IDs system was implemented by the Russian communications ministry.ADVERTISEMENT ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Serena ready for royal date with Meghan at Wimbledon FIFA “continues to make efforts to identify and curb unauthorized ticket sales”, th spokesman said.The Olamilekan brothers spent about a thousand dollars each for their plane fare to Moscow, on top of what they paid separately to the agent.“In Nigeria I play football. He told me that if I started working I can also start a (football) career in Russia,” Ismail Olamilekan said.Nigerians ‘stranded’A fellow Muslim was allowing the brothers to sleep in his hostel until their return flight on July 22.Other Nigerians, however, found themselves stranded in Russia after fraudulent “agents” who booked return flights for them then cancelled the bookings to get a refund.A group of about a dozen Nigerians waiting at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Tuesday told AFP they had been sleeping there for days.Some of them said they each paid more than a million naira or at least $2,700 to an agent for a package including flights, match tickets and a fan ID.“We’ve been sleeping on the floor like fools. We’ve got no place to go,” said Alonge Ademola, 35, a cement dealer from Lagos.“We really do want to go back to our country. We’ve cried, we’ve wept, but still no solution,” he added. MOST READ The Olamilekan brothers, meanwhile, are waiting to board their flight home. They bought their return tickets with money their parents borrowed.“We don’t have any option but to go back home and work and pay our parents’ debts,” Ismail said.“I spoke to them last night. They asked if we’ve got a job and if we’re living well and I decided to tell them (the truth). I don’t like lying to my parents.”“I still give thanks to God because He has taught me a lesson,” he added. /kgaSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs View comments LATEST STORIES A 25-year-old Nigerian Sodiq Olamilekan (L) stands next to his 21-year-old brother Ismail at a door of a hostel in Moscow on July 12, 2018. Fraudsters have tricked scores of Nigerians by selling them football World Cup fan passes to travel to Russia, leaving many stranded and penniless, victims and anti-trafficking campaigners say. AFP PHOTO / Roland LLOYD PARRYMoscow, Russia – Fraudsters have tricked scores of Nigerians by selling them football World Cup fan passes to travel to Russia, leaving many stranded and penniless, victims and anti-trafficking campaigners said.Some Nigerians told AFP they used the official Fan IDs to come to Russia with the promise of finding work or even playing professional football.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more