The United Nations Migration Agency, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has revealed that more than 1,000 Nigerians are stranded in the United Kingdom having fallen victim to scams and fake employment offers by various syndicates.
IOM’s Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Laurent De Boeck, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said some of the victims lost as much as $10,000 in their desperate attempts to secure non-existent foreign jobs.
“There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters, which allowed them to get visas,” De Boeck said.
“They get there, present the letters, and the organizations tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organizations. Over a thousand people are affected,” he said.
He noted that most of the stranded Nigerians lack the means to come back home, while others are ashamed of coming back to their families empty handed.
The IOM chief however, advised potential migrants to be cautious of a syndicate that specializes in offering fake employment letters to Nigerians seeking to work in the UK.
He urged them to seek out proper information before embarking on any migration, noting that over 260,000 Nigerians had approached the IOM in 2023, seeking guidance on how to migrate through regular or approved routes and also undergoing pre-departure medical health assessments.
De Boeck also stated that the agency was working with partners to repatriate thousands of persons, including Nigerians, from Tunisia, which has recently placed a ban on migration, as well as working extensively with Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, and others, to develop regular pathways for qualified Nigerians to travel.