The authorities of the United States of America(USA) have frozen about $14.2 million in bank accounts linked to companies registered by the Chairman of Air Peace Limited, Allen Onyema, a latest development following indictment of Onyema and Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s head of finance and administration for alleged money laundering and bank fraud in the United States.
Penpushing reports that Onyema and Ejiroghene Eghagha had denied the allegations, with declaration to prove their innocence in court, while it is recalled that, the charges were first made public by the United States Department of Justice on Friday night.
The charges alleged that the Chairman of Airpeace used several companies he set up in the United States of America (USA). to launder funds and commit bank fraud through issuance of counterfeit letters of credit.
Penpushing further reports that, the indictment report that, some of the companies’ bank accounts in the America. and Canada had been frozen with their substantial balances as part of the investigation, court documents showed.
The documents also revealed 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, while 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.
Penpushing also reports that the American authorities equally 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, Inc, while American law enforcement authorities indicated in the charge document that efforts had commenced to secure final forfeitures of the funds.
The alleged Onyema in a statement on Saturday said he was innocent, explaining, ’as the press statement clearly stated, these are indictment (sic) that only contains 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’ Onyema said.
“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,” he emphasised.