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Richard convinced me that it was possible to fly from Uganda to the Netherlands and then take a boat to reach the UK. He never told me that I needed a special visa to be able to cross to the UK running the risk of being arrested or deported. Dishonest as he was, he forced me to pay more money to organize the trip to the UK.
“Have you ever been here before?” Richard asked me when I got into his office. “No,” I replied. “Your face reminds me of a guy who was here two months ago who wanted to go to Japan but failed to pay seven thousand dollars and I still have his passport with a visa in it,” he said. “How can I help you?” He smiled for the first time while asking me. “I want to go to the UK,” I said. “Do you have a passport already?” “Yes I do,” I answered. “Let me see, you need medical insurance, bank statement, invitation letter from UK and other documents to get a visa, but it’s not cheap,” he warned. “How much will it cost me?” I asked. He told me that I had to pay $10,000 only to take me to the UK, a country that is like heaven. Then he ‘offered’ to reduce the fee for me to $9000. I insisted him to lower the price. “I don’t have enough money, I can only pay $4000,” I begged. “I understand, but remember as soon as you reach Europe you will get a lot of money and your family will be proud of you. I will not go less than $8000, because I have to process all your travel documents including the plane ticket,” he said. He emphasised he was charging very little money depending on what I was going to get in Europe. “Is that right?” I asked in disbelief. Now that the bargaining was over, the visa dealer asked me to give him my passport and an advance payment of $4000. “Write your name and telephone number, I will call you as soon as I am done,” he promised.
After two weeks, Richard called me to ask for more money because $4000 was finished and he could not proceed with my paperwork unless I paid more. I had used all the money I had in my account and I had to look for friends to help me raise money. I contacted several of my friends but they referred me to moneylenders who ask very high interest rates on top of having a security. It was a very tense time for me because I risked losing all the money I had paid in advance, but I had no receipt to confirm the payment. It was my second time trying to get a UK visa. My first tourist visa application was rejected because things I was going to see in the UK were also in Uganda. The other reason for rejection was that I had not enough money to travel to the UK as a tourist. However, this time the dealer assured me that he could take me to the UK through the Netherlands with a Schengen visa. Richard convinced me that when I reached Amsterdam, I could take a boat to the UK. “Your trip will be from Entebbe-Amsterdam and Amsterdam to London,” he explained. But I never reached, since he didn’t provide me the proper visa. I got stuck in the Netherlands where there was nobody to receive me. I cursed him.
Read more about the Schengen visa: www.schengenvisa.cc
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