The Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede has warned Nigerians to desist from using fake, altered, invalidated, withdrawn, stolen and lost travel documents.
Babandede, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said that such documents had been automatically made available to 194 member countries of INTERPOL.
NAN reports that NIS INTERPOL i-24/7 desk had successfully uploaded 150,000 Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) to INTERPOL Global System (IPSG) in Lyon, France seamlessly.
This was an effort put in place by the service team to rid the world of attempts and deliberate acts leading to identity theft, frauds and other organised crimes perpetrated globally, using SLTD.
Babandede warned holders of Nigerian Passports not to use such re-issued passport anywhere in the world as failure would lead to arrest and prosecution.
He emphasised that the new development would go a long way in curbing identity theft and use of stolen and lost travel documents by criminal elements.
He added that those seeking to hide their identities to cross national borders and engage in illicit activities worldwide should desist.
“INTERPOL i-24/7 is a secured global communication network developed by INTERPOL to connect law enforcement agencies and officers in all the 194 countries.
“It enables authorised users to share urgent security information with their counterparts around the globe, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“It enables investigators to access INTERPOL’s range of criminal databases. Users can search and cross-check data on suspected criminals, wanted persons, stolen and lost travel documents.
“Even stolen motor vehicles, fingerprints, DNA profile, stolen administrative documents and stolen works of art.
“I urge Nigerians to desist from being involved in any criminal act as they can be detected anywhere in the World, ” he said.
Babandede emphasised the safety of the public and officers of the immigration service as international flights resumed on Sept. 5.
He said that COVID-19 is a serious issue, saying that public health was the next concern after terrorism.
He noted that the personnel were taking measures to ensure their safety and that of the passengers.
“You cannot board an aircraft to Nigeria until you have a COVID-19 negative test result. And this is to ensure that Coronavirus is not spread across.
“As the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbeshola will always say the defender should not be defenceless. We will ensure that the officers are protected as well as the passengers, ” he said.