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$44.9m fraud: EFCC interrogates Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema

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By Toby Prince

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, over alleged $44.9 million wire deals.

According toThe Nation, Mr Onyema was quizzed on Wednesday and released on administrative bail.

It quoted a source who said a former special adviser/coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office, who was not named, has been placed on watch list.

Following Onyema’s interrogation, the EFCC has now placed his activities under surveillance.

The source said Onyema’s questioning was part of the agency’s collaboration with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It is not known if US authorities have sought Mr Onyema’s extradition, but a US court has issued a warrant of arrest for him.

The US justice department indicted Onyema, 56, last Friday alongside the airline’s chief of administration and finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha.

It is charging them with bank fraud and money laundering for allegedly moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.

Court documents show that bank accounts in the US and Canada reportedly belonging to Air Peace have been frozen as part of the investigation.

The documents showed that $4,017,852.51 was seized from JP Morgan Chase Bank account number ending in 5512 held in the name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC.

Another $4,593,842.05 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending 7523 in the name of Springfield Aviation Inc. was also seized.

The US government also traced and seized $5,634,842.04 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending in 515 in the name of Bluestream Aero Services.

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