The United States has charged the CEO of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, with bank fraud and money laundering. According to a statement issued on Friday by the US Department of Justice, Onyema had moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, said. “We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”
He further stated that the airline’s Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, had also been charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme. This comes weeks after the airline’s boss had been celebrated for the humanitarian roles he played in the wake of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa.