Philippines Arrests 270 Chinese Citizens In Fraud Raid

 

 

Philippine police have arrested more than 270 Chinese nationals in a raid on a gang wanted over a vast investment fraud that cost victims in China millions of dollars, authorities said Friday.

Agents swooped on an office building in the capital Manila on Wednesday to take four suspects into custody in connection with the 100 million yuan ($14 million) scam, but stumbled upon many more.

“The operation then yielded the incidental arrest of 273 other Chinese nationals who were caught in the act of conducting illegal online operations,” immigration authorities said, without elaborating.

READ ALSO: 12 Drown In India During Religious Ceremony

Further checking revealed those suspects, who did not have proper papers to be in the Philippines, were also wanted by Chinese authorities over a large-scale investment scam.

A total of 277 people were taken into custody in the operation that Philippine officials carried out in conjunction with Chinese authorities.

The Philippines has seen a spike in the arrival of Chinese tourists and workers since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in mid-2016 and immediately set about warming relations with Beijing.

The influx has had a mixed impact in the Philippines, with authorities suspecting many of the arrivals are working illegally in the online gambling industry.

PHOTOS: Foreigners Storm Immigration Office For Data Capture

A photo combination of an Immigration officer and some foreigners at the NIS Headquarters in Abuja on September 6, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

More foreigners stormed the headquarters of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja on Friday to take advantage of the amnesty programme of the Federal Government for migrants.

President Muhammadu Buhari launched the e-Migrant Policy on July 12 for the registration of foreigners, a move aimed at promoting security in the country.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, warned that the Immigration would go tough on the migrants who fail to register after the 90-day amnesty programme lapses on January 11, 2020.

READ ALSO: Immigration To Capture Foreigners’ Data At Airports, Says Babandede

He said airports would henceforth capture biometrics of foreigners in order to compile a comprehensive database of those who come in and out of the country.

Babandede added that the Service has successfully registered over 4,000 migrants between July and September 2019.

See photos of some foreigners at the NIS office below:

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019. PHOTOS: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Immigration To Capture Foreigners’ Data At Airports, Says Babandede

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019. Photo – Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is giving a 90-day period for illegal migrants to register with the service or get sanctioned.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, gave the warning on Friday at the Service’s headquarters in Abuja.

He asked those who are non-citizens in the country to take advantage of the amnesty programme and get captured in the e-Migrant Policy launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 12.

READ ALSO: Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

Babandede disclosed that the NIS has put in place some measures to identify foreigners and tackle illegal immigration in the country.

He said airports would henceforth capture biometrics of foreigners in order to compile a comprehensive database of those who come in and out of the country.

According to the NIS boss, the free e-registration process is currently ongoing in five states of the Federation.

He added that the Immigration has successfully registered over 4,000 migrants between July and September 2019.

Babandede explained that the registration of foreigners was aimed at promoting security in the country while the 90-day amnesty programme would lapse on January 11, 2020.

On August 26, the NIS boss had said that the Federal Government would not hesitate to kick out anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ended.

He noted that President Buhari saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country, saying it would help the government make good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.

“After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.

“This amnesty, once it ends, we will remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” Babandede had said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

‘There Is No Closure’, Immigration Explains Activities At Nigerian Borders

(FILE) Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaks during an interview with Channels Television.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday clarified the controversy surrounding the reports on the closure of the nation’s borders.

Contrary to the reports, the Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, stated that no border has been closed.

He, however, explained that the Service was conducting an operation with the Nigeria Customs Service at the borders.

“There is no border closure, but there was a border drill and there was an announcement from the office of the National Security Adviser,” Babandede said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He added, “Our spokesperson for the closure is the Nigeria Customs because this operation is jointly carried out by the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs; it is a border drill.

“You know very well that a safe border is a safe nation. So we are securing these borders for our national interest.”

READ ALSO: Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

The Immigration boss further highlighted the gains of the exercise carried out at various borders of the country.

According to him, those who think they can make money by “dumping anything” in the country have been blocked.

Babandede noted that the security agencies have also prevented those making attempts to come into Nigeria without the required travelling documents and records.

He said, “I’m glad to say windows have been opened for people to pass through these borders from 6am to 6pm, but must enter with travelling documents and with visa if visa is required.

“It’s not a closure, it’s a border drill and Nigeria will do everything it can to protect its integrity, its border, its economy, and its people.”

Two Nigerian Sisters Rescued From Suspected Traffickers In Mali

Two Nigerian Sisters Rescued From Suspected Traffickers In Mali

 

Officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have rescued two teenagers from a suspected human trafficking syndicate in Mali.

The Edo State Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Kayode Eniolorunda, confirmed this to Channels Television on Thursday in Benin City, the state capital.

He explained that the two sisters – Miriam and Vivian Jackson – were rescued following a complaint lodged by their mother, Mercy, about their disappearance on July 19, 2019.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt To Recover N614bn Budget Support From 35 States

Eniolorunda said that the Command worked on a lead which came from interrogating one Lucky Otuba, a suspected member of the gang who accompanied the mother of the victims to report the case.

He added that they moved into action by contacting other anti-human trafficking agencies, including the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) which led to their rescue from the syndicate led by one Madam Taye based in Mali.

“Our efforts actually paid off as they were able to track them in Mali, identify them and hand over to our embassy and through the help of IOM, one of our principal partners, they were brought to Lagos and subsequently to us in Benin,” the Immigration Comptroller said.

Narrating her ordeal, Miriam told Channels Television that the whole incident has remained confusing as she cannot really tell how they agreed to go on the trip.

She said the person who recruited them for the journey, one Madam Blessing, had told them that they were going to work as hairdressers in Senegal before ending up in Mali where they were eventually rescued.

The victim said, “I cannot explain how we agreed to travel with her. it is as if we were not with our senses.”

Trump Orders Immigration Sweep Targeting 2,000 Families – Report

US President Donald Trump attends the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2019. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

United States President Donald Trump has ordered border agents to begin a mass roundup as early as Sunday of some 2,000 migrant families that have received deportation orders, US media reported Friday.

The news follows the president’s announcement on Twitter Monday that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials would begin deporting “millions of illegal aliens,” although he gave little detail.

The tweet sped up operations that were already underway, according to unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post, NBC and CNN.

The family roundup will likely begin with pre-dawn raids in up to 10 cities including Houston, Chicago, New York, and Miami.

Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, is hesitant about parts of the operation, CNN reported.

He has been urging ICE to mainly focus on some 150 families that had attorneys but have dropped out of the legal process and vanished, the Post reported.

The US is facing a surge in migrants from several Central American countries plagued by gang violence and poverty.

The numbers have hampered US authorities’ abilities to temporarily shelter and process arrivals.

Trump has called it “an invasion,” and has made the fight against illegal migration a central plank of his administration.

An estimated 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants are living in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center.

Migrant apprehensions have soared to 144,000, including 57,000 minors, in May — the highest number in 13 years.

Congress has authorized ICE to detain 40,000 migrants, and many others are sent to other overcrowded facilities across the nation.

In 2017 the Trump administration imposed a “zero tolerance” regime on the US border with Mexico, which resulted in hundreds of families being split up.

Nigeria Immigration Begins Web-Based Application For Visa-On-Arrival

File Photo: Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaking to reporters at the Ikoyi Passport Office in Lagos on July 2

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has migrated to a web-based Visa-on-Arrival application platform.

Prior to the development, applicants for Visa-on-Arrival were required to forward applications via a dedicated email address or hard copy to the Comptroller General for approval.

But with the web-based regime taking effect from May 13, applicants are only required to log on to the NIS website, where they can apply for the facility, make payments and receive approvals online.

“It is fully automated and user-friendly,” the NIS said via Twitter on Tuesday.

It further stated that the Comptroller General the service, Muhammad Babandede, MFR called on genuine investors to take advantage of the innovation as it will improve migration as well as transparency in the system in line with Federal Government’s policy on Ease of Doing Business.

NIS Reschedules Roll-Out Of 10-Year E-Passport To April 29

 

Photo: immigration.gov.ng

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has postponed the rollout of the new 10-year enhanced e-passport to April 29, 2019.

This is contained in a statement by the spokesperson of the NIS, Sunday James, who explained that the decision was to enable the Service to finalize the integration of the National Identity Number (NIN) with the new passport.

“Consequent upon this, the price of the current passport still remains the same,” he explained in the statement.

The NIS passport reforms involve the introduction of different categories of passport with various approved fees.

RELATED: President Buhari Launches New E-Passport

According to the NIS, the new passport with 32 pages will cost N25,000 and $130 abroad; the 64 pages with five years expiration time will cost N35,000 and $150 abroad while the 64 pages with 10-year validity will cost N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.

The enhanced passport was officially launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 16, 2019, who was immediately issued his own 10-year validity passport by the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammad Babandede.

Mr. Babandede later explained the advantages of the new passport, which he said would make it easier for security management.

Besides the 10-year validity, he said the new versions contain self-tracking of application, weather friendliness, polycarbonate technology to guard against damage and compliance with ICAO standard, among other features.

Trump Warns Conservatives Against ‘Socialist Nightmare’

US President Donald Trump speaks about the government shutdown on January 25, 2019, from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Trump says will sign bill to reopen the government until February 15.
Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

 

President Donald Trump rallied right-wing activists Saturday with a speech offering conservative red meat on immigration, trade and the threat of “socialism” as he sought to move on from a bruising week in domestic and international politics.

“We believe in the American dream, not in the socialist nightmare,” he said to boisterous applause from hundreds of supporters at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) near Washington.

“America will never be a socialist country,” Trump added in a mammoth two-hour speech that seemed to draw energy from the fervent reception offered by some of his influential supporters in the room.

It was his first public appearance since coming home empty-handed, and to criticism from all sides, after a nuclear-disarmament summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. He told CPAC the meeting was “very productive” — but that he would not “make a deal just for the sake of doing it.”

The White House is also smarting from explosive testimony on Capitol Hill by Trump’s former lawyer and fixer on Wednesday that branded him a cheat and a racist.

Trump, often speaking in mocking tones, portrayed the Green New Deal climate strategy touted by the left of the Democratic party as a socialist plan that will devastate the fossil fuel and automotive industries.

He said progressive healthcare policies would “lead to colossal tax increases” — and accused the Democrats of having “totally abandoned the American mainstream” on issue such as immigration and abortion.

‘These people are sick’

With the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia reportedly approaching its conclusion, Trump again berated Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as partisan hacks out to get him, adding that “these people are sick.”

His voice dripping with sarcasm, he suggested that his call in summer of 2016 for Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton’s emails was a joke that had been obtusely taken at face value by the media.

On the foreign front, Trump repeated his claim that the last Islamic State group fighters in Syria would be captured or killed imminently — “as of tomorrow” — after on Thursday telling US troops “we just took over” 100 per cent of the caliphate. Two weeks earlier Trump had declared the fall of the so-called caliphate would be announced “over the next 24 hours.”

He railed against Chinese tariffs on American goods and said the US loses $500 billion a year to the world’s second-biggest economy — “such a disaster.”

Trump regularly ignores the dominant US services sector to focus only on goods, when in 2017 the US trade deficit with China was actually $337 billion — not $500 billion.

Trump last year initiated a tariff war with Beijing, which has taken a nasty bite out of US growth. Although both sides say they are now close to resolving the dispute Trump insisted he’s “fine with it” and told his supporters: “The beauty is this. I have $250 billion more to put tariffs on.”

The word “socialism” has been in heavy rotation since some Democratic candidates began openly embracing liberal platforms including the Green New Deal and a Medicare for All.

On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the four-day conference in National Harbor, Maryland, to warn that Democrats are taking a “hard left turn” ahead of 2020.

“Under the guise of Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, Democrats are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of millions over the last century. That system is socialism,” he said.

Trump’s speech came at the same time Senator Bernie Sanders, who has embraced the label of “democratic socialist,” spoke at a rally in New York, assailing Trump as “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

‘Freedom’ or ‘socialism’

It was Sanders’ first major speech since announcing he will again seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Republicans hoped Trump’s address would serve as a diversion from the Mueller investigation and to the testimony this week on Capitol Hill by the president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen implicating him in crimes.

In December a court sentenced Cohen to three years in prison for hush-money payments to two women and for lies to Congress — both of which he said were to protect Trump — and tax evasion.

During Cohen’s testimony the president was in Vietnam where a high-stakes second summit between Trump and Kim broke up in disarray Thursday, without even a joint statement. The pair failed to reach an agreement on curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

21 Savage Released Nine Days After Arrest By US Immigration

US Rapper 21 Savage/ AFP

 

Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was granted release on bond from US immigration detention Tuesday, his lawyers said — nine days after his arrest sparked outrage among fellow music stars, fans and immigrant rights advocates alike.

“Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom,” Charles Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro, representing 21 Savage, said in a statement. Kuck confirmed the rapper will be released Wednesday.

21 Savage, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested February 3 in the southern city of Atlanta by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who said he was British and had been living in the United States illegally since overstaying his visa from 2006.

His legal team did not immediately clarify what comes next in the case of the 26-year-old rapper, whose chart-topping latest album “I Am > I Was” was released in December.

READ ALSO: Jay-Z’s Lawyer Takes On Immigration Case Of Rapper 21 Savage

Previously, they acknowledged that he was British, brought to the US aged seven, and lost his legal status in the US when he was a child “through no fault of his own.”

They also said he has a pending application for a U visa — for victims of crimes who have faced mental or physical abuse in the US — that was filed “as a result of being the victim of a deadly shooting in 2013” — and that his three US citizen children make him eligible for deportation relief.

On Tuesday, 21 Savage’s lawyers also passed on a message to the young rapper’s fans, saying that while he was not at Sunday’s Grammys Awards — “he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world.”

Rapper Post Malone performed hit track “Rockstar,” which features 21 Savage, alone at the show in Los Angeles. The song won the pair two Grammy nominations.

A petition demanding 21 Savage’s release was signed by more than 460,000 people — with Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among those backing the campaign for his freedom.

AFP

Elections: PDP Sues INEC, APC, NIS, Interior Minister Over Participation Of Foreigners

Ex-Adamawa Deputy Governor Tahir Dumps PDP For APC

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has filed a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerian Immigration Service, Minister of Interior and All Progressives Congress over the participation of foreigners in the elections.

In the originating summons, the PDP is asking the court to determine “whether, having regard to the provision of section 12 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended 2015) and Paragraph 2 of the 2019 INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, foreigners and/or aliens can participate either directly or indirectly in the General Elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The opposition party also wants the court to determine “whether the participation of Nigerien governors in the 4th defendant’s campaign rally is not contrary to Nigerian law and public policy”.

INEC, the NIS and Minister of Interior are the 1st to 3rd defendants in the suit respectively, while the APC is the 4th defendant.

After determining the matter before it, the PDP wants the court to declare that “having regard to the provision of Section 12 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), foreigners and/or aliens cannot participate either directly or indirectly in the General Elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

It also wants the court to declare that “the participation of 2 Nigerien governors in the 4th defendant (APC)’s campaign rally is contrary to Nigerian law and public policy”.

Furthermore, the court wants the court to issue an order directing the 1st to 3rd defendants to preclude and ensure that foreigners/aliens do not participate in the 2019 general elections.

The PDP is also seeking an order restraining APC from inviting or in any way involving foreigners in its rallies and campaigns.

More to follow…

Trump To ‘Address The Nation’ On Border Row Tuesday

 

President Donald Trump announced he will “address the nation” Tuesday on his demand for a Mexico border wall that he says is needed to shut out dangerous illegal immigration.

Trump, who is battling Democrats in Congress over funding for the wall project, tweeted that the speech would be made at 9 pm (0200 GMT Wednesday) on what he called “the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.”

READ ALSO: Seven Killed In Attack On Bar In Mexico Tourist Resort

The primetime speech will come two days before Trump makes a rare trip down to the Mexican border to push his controversial plan.

Trump has made building a wall the central theme of his domestic policies, painting the border as an open gate for criminals, including rapists, terrorists and phony asylum seekers.

The idea is popular with his hardcore voter base. However, Democrats, who now control the lower house of Congress, say that the “crisis” is overblown by Trump and that the wall is a political stunt not worth taxpayer money.