Nigerian Woman Arrested; Charged With Improper Use Of A Passport
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul. Jr. announced today that Elizabeth Afola Oyenekan, 42, of Nigeria, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with the improper use of another’s passport and making false statements. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant attempted to enter the United States at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry on February 1, 2015. Oyenekan presented a Canadian passport to a Customs and Border Protection Officer bearing the name Diana Adetuni. When asked where she was born, Oyenekan stated Nigeria but quickly retracted and claimed she was born in Saint Vincent. The defendant also told the officer she was traveling to Brooklyn, NY to stay with a friend.
A search of the defendant’s luggage revealed a credit card in the name of E. O. Oyenekan which was a possible match to a previous Visa Waiver Refusal in Ireland in October 2014. An officer then entered the defendant’s fingerprints into a Fingerprint Identification System and determined that she was in fact Elizabeth Afola Oyenekan and not Diana Adetuni.
The defendant made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistriate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder. Oyenekan is being held.
The arrest and criminal complaint are the culmination of an investigation on the part of Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Randy Howe, Director of Field Operations.