Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the arrest of a Nigerian citizen on charges of false claim to citizenship, misuse of a passport and false statements.
On March 7, CBP officers encountered a 43-year-old male as a passenger in a taxi at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, N.Y. The subject presented a valid U.S. passport as proof of citizenship and advised the CBP officer that he was returning to his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., after attempting to enter Canada early in the day. He advised CBP that he was refused entry by Canadian authorities due to the fact that he was traveling with eight full suitcases and claimed he was entering the country as a visitor. The subject was referred to CBP secondary enforcement for verification of his immigration status.
During the course of the secondary interview, CBP officers noticed that the subject had a foreign accent not consistent with someone who had grown up in the Brooklyn, N.Y. area. The subject again claimed that he was born in the United States, moved to Africa with his parents when he was two years old, but returned to the U.S. at the age of five. The subject further claimed he has remained in the Brooklyn area ever since.
A query of the subject's fingerprints resulted in the discovery of a record indicating the prints were not those of a United States citizen but rather belonged to Osaruyi Eduwen, a 43-year-old Nigerian national who had previously entered the United States legally in November of 1997 as a visitor, in Los Angeles, Calf.
When confronted with the evidence discovered by CBP, Eduwen recanted his original claim to citizenship and advised CBP officers that he was in fact a Nigerian citizen. He further advised that the presented passport was not his, but rather belonged to a friend. Eduwen also admitted that his purpose in attempting to enter Canada was to claim asylum.
Eduwen was arrested by CBP officers and charged with false claim to citizenship, misuse of a passport and false statements. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York.