Why FG wants to withdraw diplomatic passports

Why FG wants to withdraw diplomatic passports

Why FG wants to withdraw diplomatic passports

Facts have emerged on why the Federal Government directed the withdrawal of diplomatic passport from unauthorised holders.
An Immigration source told New Telegraph that the directive was in line with the anti-corruption war of the government as some holders of the diplomatic passport were engaged in money laundering.
Diplomatic passports are being held by governors, ministers, National Assembly members, diplomats and other top government functionaries.
As soon as President Muhammadu Buhari came into office, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) directed holders of diplomatic passports who are no longer occupying public offices to return the passports to the Service.
Last week, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Mr. Martins Abeshi, threatened to publish the names of those still holding the diplomatic passports illegally. He said only 200 persons have returned the documents.
The source disclosed that most government officials that demand or hold diplomatic passport do so because of the rights it accord them to carry huge amount of money to other countries. A traveller is bound to declare any amount above $10, 000 while travelling outside the country.
But the source said that with the diplomatic passport, the holder can take up to $2 to $3 million without being searched or interrogated by the officials of the country or that of a visiting country. He said: “I believe very strongly that in an attempt to tighten the money laundering and fiscal flight that is one of the reasons why the government is withdrawing this document. If you are carrying a briefcase full of dollars, they would know what is inside it because the scanners would show it but because of the immunity you enjoy by the virtue of the document that you are carrying they would not stop you except if the money would create an economic problem for their country.
“If they believe that the money can create a crisis to their economy, the boarder agency would ask questions and probably raise the alarm. But if it is something like $1, $2 or $3 million they might overlook it because of your diplomatic passport. If it goes beyond that, notwithstanding your diplomatic passport they would act in protecting their economy.
“So, people with diplomatic passport have immunity. I think somebody must have been given some intelligence and security reports that the holders of diplomatic passport are using them for money laundering.”

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