Seychelles Vice President, Ahmed Afif, revealed on Thursday that tourists with Nigerian passports will undergo strict screening before being granted entry into the country. However, Nigerians holding diplomatic passports and those with active work or residency licenses issued by Seychelles will still be allowed entry.
According to a report by Punchng.com, the Seychelles Electronic Border System (SEBS) will play a vital role in analyzing the reasons for the visit. Afif stated that suspicious activities, such as individuals arriving for a one-day holiday, will be thoroughly examined.
Afif also highlighted the concern about many incidents where Nigerians claimed to be on vacation but only stayed for a day or two. Investigations revealed that these individuals had a single source of payment, suggesting the presence of an organized syndicate.
The Seychelles government has noticed a dangerous trend in recent months, linking criminal activities in the country to certain individuals from Nigeria. In the past two weeks alone, 13 Nigerian people entering Seychelles were arrested for smuggling drugs into the country.
Furthermore, instances of Nigerians using fake credit cards and staying in establishments without paying have also been reported. Afif mentioned a specific case where 62 Nigerians apparently on holiday defrauded local businesses using false credit cards, causing significant financial losses.
The Vice President emphasized that Seychelles does not have a problem with Nigeria or its people but cannot tolerate such criminal activities within its borders. Afif stated that the country aims to ensure a safe environment for both tourists and locals, while also protecting its economy.
Recently, a Twitter user shared a screenshot of a message from the Seychelles Electronic Border System, seemingly denying entry application for Nigerian passport holders. However, Afif clarified that the information circulated through social media was not official and lacked coordination.
In response to the controversy, Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, will hold discussions with the Nigerian ambassador to Seychelles. The purpose of the meeting is to address the concerns raised and find a resolution.
The Seychelles government is also working on a plan to extradite convicted Nigerians back to their home country. As an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles is keen on maintaining strong border control measures and eliminating criminal activities within its jurisdiction.