Air Peace CEO denies $20m fraud allegations

The CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema has denied allegations of bank and money laundering; levelled against him by the United States Justice Department.

In a damning charge made public on Friday, November 22; the US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia had accused Onyema of money laundering; “for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.”

Also indicted is the Chief of Administration and Finance (Air Peace), Ejiroghene Eghagha; who was charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.

However, in a swift rebuttal issued on Saturday; Onyema said all the allegations “are false and are in no way in line with my character as a person and as a businessman.”

The Air Peace boss said all the money transfer for the purchase of aircraft passed through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said his lawyers are working on the allegations which would be refuted.

The statement reads: “Thank you for reaching out to me. I can confirm to you that 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 and improve well-being.

“As the press statement clearly stated, these are indictments that only contain charges. I am innocent of all charges and the US government will find NO dirt on me because I have never conducted business with any illegalities.

“Be rest assured that I also have my lawyers on this and these mere allegations will be refuted.

“I never laundered money in my life, neither have I committed bank fraud anywhere in the world. Every Kobo I transferred to the US for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria LC regime and all were used for the same purpose.

“The American companies that received the funds are still in business. I never took a penny from any US bank or Nigerian bank. I am willing to defend my innocence in the US courts.”

Ng daily

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