22 May 2019

Nigeria: Malaysian Remanded in Nigerian Prison for Alleged €250 Million Fraud

A Special Offences Court in Lagos has remanded a Malaysian immigrant, Tan Richard, at the Ikoyi Prisons for an alleged €250 million fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it charged Mr Richard before Justice Mojisola Dada on a five-count charge bordering on forgery, and use of a false document.

In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Tony Orilade, on Wednesday, the anti-graft agency said the defendant attempted to collect money by pretence using his company, Coastal Asia Investments Limited, to the tune of €250 million.

According to one of the charges, Mr Richard and his partner, Sawang Jana, who is still at large, fraudulently used a Swift Telex Advice, indicating they had transferred €250 million (about N100 million) to their company's account with Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc).

They allegedly further claimed they paid the money from HSBC Bank Plc, London, United Kingdom.

According to the statement, the defendant pleaded "not guilty" to the charge preferred against him by the commission.

Given his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Bashir Kamil, asked for a trial date urging the court to remand the defendant in prison.

Also in the statement, the counsel to the defendant, A. B. Onifade, told the court that he was served with the charge by the prosecution only on May 21. He said he would apply for the defendant's bail after the proceedings.

He urged the court to remand the defendant in the EFCC custody pending the determination of the case.

However, Mr Kamil objected to the prayer of Mr Onifade, stressing that the commission's detention facilities were already overstretched.

Consequently, the judge adjourned the case to June 28, July 2 and 8, for the commencement of trial. He ordered that the defendant be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.


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