Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has denied allegations that he laundered more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts, a claim credited to the US Department of Justice.
According to the Justice Department, Mr Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.
We take a closer look at the details of the indictment and its likely translations.
1. There are 27 counts of Money Laundering against Onyema.
2. Onyema allegedly used falsified documents to support his applications and obtain millions of dollars in foreign exchange via Letters of Credit transactions. The key point here is falsified documents to obtain millions of dollars in foreign exchange from the CBN at a very favourable exchange rate for the purpose of purchasing aircrafts.
Did he use falsified documents or not?
3. The letters of credits were used to obtain and transfer more than $20 million dollars into Atlanta-based bank accounts controlled by Onyema.
This means that the letters of credit transactions were strictly for the benefit of Onyema and not any third party business enterprise.
4. Springfield Aviation Company LLC registered in Georgia is owned by Onyema. That the purported company, Springfield Aviation that Onyema purportedly claimed to purchase the aircrafts from is owned and controlled by him.
He controlled both the source and destination of the funds but such were hidden under false pretext as if he was doing business with a third party. That is a Money Laundering offence.
In addition, Springfield Aviation never owned the aircrafts Onyema was reportedly buying with these letters of credit from Springfield. Ownership of aircrafts such as these are easy to establish.
6. Furthermore, the company that Onyema must have claimed in bank documents that allegedly drafted the appraisals presumably to appraise the value of the aircrafts he purportedly was buying did not exist.
Source: From the desk of Nat Cole
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not reflect News Central’s editorial stance.
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