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US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace - Politics - Nairaland

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US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by stephanie11: 7:00pm On Sep 07
The United States Department of Justice has alleged that billions of naira stolen from the Presidential Amnesty Programme by a former head of the office, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, were transferred to bank accounts in the United States where they were laundered and used to purchase airplanes to start Air Peace as well as luxury homes and vehicles.

Kuku served as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and was Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Office under President Goodluck Jonathan, who served from 2010-2015.

Air Peace, which was launched in 2013, is Nigeria’s largest carrier with a fleet size of about 23 airplanes. The revelation by the US DOJ clearly poses multiple challenges and risks for the airline if the US government successfully prosecutes the charges of money laundering in court.

THEWILL can report exclusively that the US DOJ which has been conducting a discreet investigation into Kuku and Air Peace, according to our sources with knowledge of development, formally wrote to the Nigerian government under the Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance between both countries and asked for the transfer of the case files of investigations conducted on Mr. Kuku, who coincidentally was deported from the United States last year by the Department of Homeland Security over immigration fraud, Allen Onyema, the airlines’ CEO, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who allegedly laundered at least $8m from the Amnesty programme and other individuals and companies linked to Onyema.

The United States government describes Mr. Onyema as Kuku’s business partner, who laundered at least $44m through US bank accounts.

The DOJ in another letter about three weeks ago asked Nigeria for bank account records of “Air Peace Limited, Ifechukwu Allen Athan Onyema, Tarere Vivenne Kuku alias Nnamani Chika Vivienne, All Times Peace Media, Every Child Limited, Foundation of Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria and Allen Onyema and Company, Global Spectrum Energy Services Plc” amongst others.

“Records should be for the period between April 1, 2010, and the present…” the DOJ said in the letter seen by THEWILL.

In November last year, the United States DOJ in a statement announced Mr. Onyema’s indictment and charge for bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.

It also said the airline’s Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, was charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.

“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “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.”

Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented on the indictment, “Allen Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman turned out to be a fraud. He corrupted the U.S. banking system, but his trail of deceit and trickery came to a skidding halt. DEA would like to thank the many law enforcement partners and the subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office who aided in making this investigation a success.”

“This case is a prime example of why IRS-CI seeks to partner and leverage its expertise in an effort to thwart those seeking to exploit our nation’s financial system,” said Thomas J. Holloman, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office.

“With the importance of our banking system to the movement of money around the world, those attempting to use intricate schemes to commit bank fraud through the use of falsified documents and other means should know that the odds are now heavily stacked against them as law enforcement is combining its talents to protect the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s financial system.”

“Onyema setup various innocent sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama. “I’m proud to be part of a team of law enforcement agencies that come together to identify and attack criminals that attempt to profit from the exploitation of our nation’s financial systems.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Onyema, is the founder and Chairman of several organizations that purport to promote peace across Nigeria, including the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, and All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited.

It said beginning in 2010, Onyema began travelling frequently to Atlanta, where he opened several personal and business bank accounts. Between 2010 and 2018, over $44.9 million was allegedly transferred into his Atlanta-based accounts from foreign sources.

In years following the founding of Air Peace, he traveled to the United States and purchased multiple airplanes for the airline. However, over $3 million of the funds used to purchase the aircraft allegedly came from bank accounts for Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited, and Every Child Limited.

Beginning in approximately May 2016, Onyema, together with Eghagha, allegedly used a series of export letters of credit to cause banks to transfer more than $20 million into Atlanta-based bank accounts controlled by Onyema. The letters of credit were purportedly to fund the purchase of five separate Boeing 737 passenger planes by Air Peace. The letters were supported by documents such as purchase agreements, bills of sale, and appraisals proving that Air Peace was purchasing the aircraft from Springfield Aviation Company LLC, a business registered in Georgia.

However, the supporting documents were fake — Springfield Aviation Company LLC, which is owned by Onyema and managed by a person with no connection to the aviation business, never owned the aircraft, and the company that allegedly drafted the appraisals did not exist. Eghagha allegedly participated in this scheme as well, directing the Springfield Aviation manager to sign and send false documents to banks and even using the manager’s identity to further the fraud. After Onyema received the money in the United States, he allegedly laundered over $16 million of the proceeds of the fraud by transferring it to other accounts, the DOJ said.

“Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, 56, of Lagos, Nigeria, and Ejiroghene Eghagha, 37, of Lagos, Nigeria, were indicted on November 19, 2019, on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud, and three counts of credit application fraud. Additionally, Onyema was charged with 27 counts of money laundering, and Eghagha was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft.”

https://thewillnigeria.com/news/exclusive-us-department-of-justice-alleges-kingsley-kuku-used-stolen-billions-from-amnesty-programme-to-buy-airplanes-for-air-peace/

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Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by dignity33: 7:03pm On Sep 07
You guys no dey tire, US is bunch of hypocrite they are the reason Nigeria remain underdeveloped.

226 Likes 20 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by ArcFresky(m): 7:06pm On Sep 07
Let's sell this country and share the change, the onky issue is people like KUkU, buhari, ganduja, tinubu, atiku will embezzle it again.

38 Likes 2 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Pentagon007: 7:17pm On Sep 07
fake news!!! Where is the DOJ publication bearing this? The thing is, No matter the amount of bile, propaganda and bitter mind from ndi Waste, Air Peace will continue to soar higher.

Air Peace to the world!!!

191 Likes 10 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by jerseyboy: 7:17pm On Sep 07
No one cares anymore. Corruption is now in our DNA. You cannot be a hero in Nigeria unless you are a BIG THIEF.

103 Likes 4 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by seunmsg(m): 7:20pm On Sep 07
dignity33:
You guys no dey tire, US is bunch of hypocrite they are the reason Nigeria remain underdeveloped.

Why should the US be tired of investigating and exposing people that stole public funds?

186 Likes 11 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by IamWonderful: 7:21pm On Sep 07
Alright
Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Rugaria: 7:22pm On Sep 07
Looking for ways to to confiscate millions from Nigerians as usual usual. The same way the British has been confiscating huge sums from Nigerian elites without repatriating the so-called loot back to Nigeria. Why are they quiet about babangida and Abubakars billions stashed away in the west? When you help them achieve their goals in your country, then your loot is yours. When it seems you are not dancing to their tunes, they will hang you out to dry..

63 Likes 6 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Jdbrasco2: 7:23pm On Sep 07
Fake news. Selective bring him down syndrome. We don hear

24 Likes 5 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Birdeyeview: 7:24pm On Sep 07
Rugaria:
Looking for ways to to confiscate millions from Nigerians as usual usual. The same way the British has been confiscating huge sums from Nigerian elites without repatriating the so-called loot back to Nigeria. Why are they quiet about babangida and Abubakars billions stashed away in the west? When you help them achieve their goals in your country, then your loot is yours. When it seems you are not dancing to their tunes, they will hang you out to dry..

22 Likes 2 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Shellsploit: 7:24pm On Sep 07
Some people wont like this.!

18 Likes 3 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by olaboy33(m): 7:25pm On Sep 07
Nigeria is in total disarray and we don't even know it yet.

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by ainas247: 7:25pm On Sep 07
Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by joelbooks: 7:25pm On Sep 07
Hmmmmm , we know already

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Adedotguy: 7:25pm On Sep 07
angry
Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Fleshly: 7:26pm On Sep 07
Boy, space booking no be here..

But back to the topic, I see this as another sensational fake news. But assuming these men are guilty of the alleged crimes, the question to ask is how is stealing $44Mil able to finance an airline company? Any jumbo jet even if it is 2nd, 3rd or even 4th hand used costs more than $50Mil for just one piece. So if Allen onyema stole $25Mil does that equate to him being able to set up an airline company? And that is assuming the news is correct - you see why I said this is silly sensationalism!

But do you know the most painful thing about this joke called fraud allegations? It is that due to our tribal differences you will see some Yorubas and Fulanis celebrating this junk, thinking that by doing so they will be able to pull Onyema down (which btw is not be possible) without realising that they are indirectly snapping their own source of livelihood. Do we know that Air peace has about 23 Pilots who are Yorubas and this was in 2017, maybe by now the numbers would have gone up astronomically. So think of their families and the amount of money Onyema pays as taxes even to the Lagos government amongst other things, before celebrating or trying to act as a useful tool in bringing down another man, based on tribal difference.

It is on this note that I urge all men of good conscience to disregard this news as the fictitious imagination of the author and their US confusionist capitalists, who all they want in the world is to expand their business at the cost of other people's labor.

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Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by Madibah(m): 7:26pm On Sep 07
U
Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by bigdammyj: 7:26pm On Sep 07
Read
Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by nellybadas: 7:26pm On Sep 07
In as much as I hate to admit it, as I don't support stealing. I have to swallow the humble pie here.
If other "thieves" were investing their loot in this country, wouldn't it have been better off? Directly or indirectly. Air peace provides a means of livelihood for hundreds of Nigerians.
The baggers stealing our collective resources are so mindless, they invest in other countries. Kindly note all the so called developed countries willingly embrace them and after improving their economy immensely, they hypocritically come out to tell us they want to return recovered loot.

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Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by solmusdesigns: 7:26pm On Sep 07
cool



Air peace

Mama peace

If you know you know

The funniest thing about Ipobians dunce is that they don't know that the same Fulani Buhari is the reason Allen Onyeama their lord and saviour and Jonathan their hero haven't been extradited on FBI / Interpol airpeace money laundering saga


Prosecutors can stall the trail under EFCC and Nigerian Judiciary, but not US, and to protect the assets and the company Buhari has to act aloof and save Airpeace for national economic sake, and for peace to reign so that Jonathan won't go down like alamiegsgha and James ibori





.

30 Likes 6 Shares

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by XXLMANDIGO: 7:26pm On Sep 07
Water don' finally pass Garri... lipsrsealed

1 Like

Re: US DOJ Says Kingsley Kuku Used Stolen Billions From Amnesty To Fund Air Peace by martineverest(m): 7:27pm On Sep 07
very true.....him and the owner of air peace were in charge of Amnesty during Jonathan's era

24 Likes 4 Shares

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