Seychelles says it imposed restrictions on Nigerian tourists over prevalent criminal activities of drug trafficking and internet fraud linked to the nationals of the most populous African country. 

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Vice President of Seychelles, Ahmed Afif disclosed this saying immigration authorities had been instructed to only permit Nigerians with diplomatic passports and residential permits access into the country.

Nigerians seeking to enter Seychelles as tourists or new immigrants have been banned indefinitely, the vice president said, according to Seychelles News Agency.

Afif said his country was able to link Nigerians to numerous criminal activities, especially drug-trafficking and online fraud syndicates.

“We have seen a clear link between this with certain people from Nigeria.  In the past two weeks, for example, 13 people coming from Nigeria have been arrested when entering Seychelles because they were carrying drugs into the country,” Mr Afif. 

“In one case, 62 Nigerians who said they were on holiday used false credit cards and the money was never credited to the accounts of these establishments.

“These establishments have lost money. These people spent free holidays in the country at the expense of the establishment owners, and there is nothing that can be done for them,” he added. 

Afif’s comments came days after controversy broke out on social media after some Nigerians alleged being denied visas for no tenable reasons by Seychelles. 

Nigeria has faced visa bans from other countries in recent months, including the United Arab Emirates, which added the West African nation to a list of 17 African countries not welcome. 

Afif said Seychelles does not necessarily have any issues with Nigeria and Nigerians, saying the country was only concerned and needed to do something about a recent spike in criminal activities linked to Nigerians. 

“We do not have a problem with Nigeria or its people though we do not tolerate such criminal activities in our country,” Afif said.

“There are other online scams originating from Nigeria. We have seen that these people are also coming to Seychelles and doing those scams.”

“When we checked the payments made for them to come to Seychelles, it is from only one source. This is for different people coming on different days, which shows an organised syndicate,” the vice president said.