Nigerian man charged with visa fraud after JFK customs officers find videos of beheadings on cellphone
Customs officers said they found the troubling images when Saka agreed to a phone search, according to court papers.
Disturbing images allegedly found on a Nigerian man’s cellphone ended up giving him a major travel delay.
Taiwo Saka was charged with visa fraud Thursday after JFK airport customs officers earlier this month spotted what looked to be child pornography and videos of terrorist-related beheadings on his cellphone.
Saka, 41, wasn’t charged in connection to the images, but pleaded not guilty on the visa fraud count filed against him in Brooklyn federal court.
Saka arrived at JFK from Lagos with a Nigerian passport, by way of Casablanca. Customs officers said they found the troubling images when Saka agreed to a phone search, according to court papers.
They dug into his visa application and found fishy similarities with visa applications the State Department had rejected back in Lagos, said the arrest complaint.
He said he was a logistics manager with a Nigerian oil and gas company who was coming here for an executive training course.
Those failed applications also used the same chestnut about someone being a logistics manager at an oil and gas company, said the papers.
They all listed the same U.S. contact as Saka’s contact, and they all listed a person having a work phone identical to Saka’s — except they worked for a different company.
Once authorities read Saka his rights, he said his training was cancelled for budget reasons. Still, he wanted to come to the states for the nine-day trip anyway, said court papers. Authorities then looked through Saka’s texts messages, where they found someone telling him what he should say to get past customs.
Saka’s lawyer, Michael Weil, declined to comment after Saka’s arraignment.