Nigerian carrier, Air Peace has warned against scammers who are allegedly collecting money from Nigerians in South Africa for their evacuation back to the country.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, told newsmen in Lagos on Thursday that the airline was offering free flights for Nigerians fleeing from xenophobic attacks in South Africa
He said the gesture was part of the airline support to the government.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with Air Peace will begin the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa on September 6.
Mr Onyema said the airline decided to set the record straight following an email from a Nigerian in South Africa that unauthorised persons were illegally collecting $1,000 from each Nigerian that wanted to take advantage of that flight.
He said: “A Nigerian living in South Africa sent an email to the airline requesting to confirm whether the flight is free because some people were already collecting money for the flight.
“Part of the mail sent by a Nigerian resident in South Africa, Fred Okeke read, “we heard that you are donating the flight for free evacuation from South Africa to Nigeria.
“But, it is very unfortunate to hear that they are asking the affected victims to pay the sum of $1000 as registration to be eligible to benefit from the flight. So, I want to bring it to your notice.”
Mr Onyema noted that the development was unfortunate, stressing that the evacuation was free because the airline was concerned about the safety of Nigerians following the attacks.
“We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace.
“So nobody should pay money to anyone or group of persons posing as Air Peace agent or staff.
“Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities,” he said.
NAN reports that following the xenophobic attacks, the Federal Government proposed recall of its High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Kabiru Bala and also pulled out of the World Economic Summit holding in Cape Town.
The government had also issued travel advice to Nigerians intending to visit South Africa due to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.