Man accused of Canadian, US visa frauds on $400,000 bail
Forty-six-year-old Kwese Lewis has been slapped with four fraud-related charges in relation to promises he made to persons that he can acquire United States of America (USA) and Canadian visas for them.
The man was arraigned before acting Chief Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus on Tuesday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, and he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is alleged that between September 22, 2022 and February 21, 2023, at Georgetown, Lewis obtained the sum of $150,000 from Evans Stoby and her grandson Jaden Williams by falsely pretending that he was in the position to acquire a Canadian visa.
It is also alleged that he defrauded Tonette Glen and her grandson Jeremiah Carter of a sum of $157,000 between August 20, 2022 and January 23, 2023, at Georgetown, by falsely pretending that he was in the position to acquire an American visa.
It is further alleged that between September 1, 2022, and October 19, 2022, at Georgetown, he defrauded Andrew Nepaul of US$2,045 by falsely pretending that he was in the position to acquire an American Visa for his brother Chris Nepaul.
Lewis is further accused of defrauding Chris Nepaul of $60,000 on August 10, 2022, at Charlotte Street, Georgetown, by falsely pretending that he was in a position to acquire a US visa for him.
The Police prosecutor had objected to Lewis being admitted to bail, but Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus granted him $400,000 bail on condition that he reports to the Officer-in-Charge of the Brickdam Police Station every Friday at 09:00am pending the hearing and determination of his trial. The matters will continue on June 23.
The US Embassy in Georgetown recently warned members of the public to be aware of visa scams in light of an increase in third-party preparers or visa service providers creating fake appointment letters and charging exorbitant fees for visa services people can otherwise do by themselves.
The embassy has also reiterated that paying someone would not improve an applicant’s chances of getting a visa. In fact, people have been advised to avoid anyone who makes such a claim.
“Visa consultants cannot improve your chances of qualifying for a visa, and they have no “inside” connection with the Embassy. Your eligibility is determined by a consular officer after a visa interview. Report anyone who claims to improve your chances of qualifying for a visa to [email protected],” the Embassy’s recent “Ask the Consul” column pointed out.
Further, it has reminded that knowing someone at the Embassy will not help you get a visa, since an applicant’s qualifications – as presented in the visa application and at the interview – and US law are the only basis on which consul officers make visa decisions.
Further, it has noted that regulations prohibit Embassy officials from providing unofficial assistance to visa applicants. (G1)