by Daniel Salome | November 23, 2019 12:25 pm
The United States has charged the CEO of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, with bank fraud and money laundering. According to a statement issued on Friday by the US Department of Justice, Onyema had moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, said.
“We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”
He further stated that the airline’s Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, had also been charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
This comes weeks after the airline’s boss had been celebrated for the humanitarian roles he played in the wake of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa. He had volunteered his airline to fly Nigerians stranded in South Africa back home at no cost.
The gesture was not only appreciated by Nigerians but recognised by the Federal Government.
Consequently, he was invited to the House of Representatives, given a standing ovation and recommended for a national award.
The US is, however, accusing him of setting up “various innocent-sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam”.
But Mr Onyema has denied these allegations.
“All allegations are false and are in no way in line with my character as a person and as a businessman whose only aim has been to build Nigeria,” he was quoted.
Source URL: https://newsafrica.com.ng/ceo-air-peace-airline-charged-with-bank-fraud-and-money-laundering/
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