The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Victims of scam | Shell company in Kurdistan Region of Iraq grant 150 Syrian civilians forged visas in return for large sums of money

Reliable SOHR sources have reported that nearly Syrian civilians, mostly from Ain Al-Arab (Kobani), fell victims to a shell company in Erbil in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where they applied for obtaining official visas. However, the company granted those Syrians forged visas to Russia, Czech Republic, Serbia and Poland in return for 5,000 to 15,000 USD each visa.


According to SOHR sources, the company is called “macadm” and belongs to a man from Deir Ezzor province and living in Al-Hasakah, while the company’s financial official is from Jisr Al-Shughour city in the western countryside of Idlib. The two men escaped on May 10, before the date of travel defined in the visas and after taking the money.


After filing complaints at headquarters of the security authorities in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, two persons working for the company, who are from Al-Qamishli city in Al-Hasakah countryside, were arrested, but the company’s director and financial official managed to escape with large sums of money and passports.


Speaking to SOHR, one of the victims known by his initials as A. A. said “we applied for obtain visas in early 2023, and later the number of applicants reached 150, including 30 persons who applied from Syria. We paid the half of the required sums of money, while the individuals responsible for the company’s affairs told us that they were accomplishing procedures required for issuing the visas. We later paid the rest of the money to get the visas and started preparation for traveling. On May 10, we were shocked when we found out that the office was closed and its telephone numbers were unavailable. We also found out that the director and the financial official were vanished. Only two employees were there in the company, and they were arrested and sent to prison to be interrogated.”


The man warned against dealing with such companies without verifying their credibility, and he called for disclosing the results of investigation with the arrested employees.