A news report carried by Abu Dhabi publication Khaleej Times is warning people who are interested in getting visas to Canada, Australia or any of the European countries to be ware.
It warned prospective travelers not to be fooled by an email that is doing the rounds offering visas to anyone and anywhere.
Quoting diplomatic missions and the police in Abu Dhabi, the publication cautioned people “to steer clear of such traps.”
The scam it says, appears to originate in London from where “Kenny Lang Visa Consultant” says a visa can be secured in 14 days provided the ‘fee’ which runs into thousands of dollars is sent to his office.
In reference to Ghana, the report said, an Australian two-year multiple entry visa is promised for $5,500. A visa for Canada is even more expensive at $6,500. However, visas for the United Kingdom or Schengen countries are being touted for $4,500 under a sham process, which takes place apparently in Ghana or China.
To find out the veracity of the claim, reporters of the Khaleej Times wrote to Kenny Lang and got the following reply signed by Lang, who claims to be a London-based barrister: He wrote: “We will get you two years multiple entry Australia visa within 14 days and the price is $5,500. The visa requirements are as follows: valid international passport, 4 passport photos and embassy documents/booking fee of $350.
You can either come down to our office in China or send your international passport and 4 passport photos through DHL. Interview is not required. Lang chambers has been operating without failure over 18 years now. I want you to be rest assured that your visa will obtained within the above mentioned time. I hope to hear from you soon.
The grammatical errors in the ads posted by Lang on several websites since January 2009 raised suspicions, the report said. He even gives away his office address as 42 Gainsborough, London, E15 3AG.
A check revealed that the address belonged to Vanbrugh Developments, a builder and construction services company.
Ghana has come up lately in a number of internet scams and fraud. It is believed that nationals of some other countries are using Ghana as a base to defraud unsuspecting individuals of their money.
Not long ago, someone posing as a US soldier in Iraq defrauded an American woman of $10,000 by false pretences. See story.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi