A United States of America court has ordered for the arrest of CEO of Airpeace, Allen Onyema, for alleged money laundering and bank fraud.
According to document seen by Akelicious, the warrant was signed by Justin Anand, an American magistrate of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, on November 19. The warrant authorised U.S. Marshals Service to take Mr Onyema into custody.
Akelicious learnt that Onyema was last seen at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Onyema was indicted on Friday for allegedly laundering suspicious funds in excess of $20 million dollars in the U.S. Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s head of finance and administration, was also indicted and an arrest warrant issued equally against him.
The two Nigerian business executives were accused of conniving to commit money laundering and bank fraud for several years. The U.S. Department of Justice made the allegations public on Friday, but did not mention that an arrest warrant had been issued for Messrs Onyema and Eghagha.
According to statement obtained by Akelicious, Mr Onyema used several non-commercial entities he registered to conduct commercial businesses in the United States.
The allegations also included how Mr Onyema facilitated fraudulent letters of credit to American banks to procure aircraft, equipment and luxury goods.
About $14 million traced to his bank accounts in the U.S. and Canada have been frozen as federal authorities pursue a final forfeiture order.
The seizure came after extensive investigation of how Mr Onyema allegedly conducted the fraud between 2010 and 2018.
Mr Onyema’s case comes as U.S. authorities are recording back-to-back successes in their clampdown on Nigerians suspected of fraudulent activities there.
However, in a statement made available to Igbere TV on Saturday, Onyema denied the allegations.
He described the charges as “strange” and “unfounded.”
The statement said both Onyema and Eghagha have built a reputation of honesty and integrity and will look forward to fighting the charges against them in court.