Alleged €250m Fraud: Malaysian docked, remanded in Ikoyi prison

May 23rd, 2019

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, on May 22, 2019, arraigned a suspected fraudster, Tan Ah Chai Richard, alongside his company, Coastal Asia Investments Limited, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in lkeja, Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on forgery, use of false document, conspiracy to forge and an attempt to obtain money by false pretence to the tune of €250,000,000.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Tan Ah Chai Richard, Coastal Asia Investments Limited and Dr. Sawang Jana (still at large), on or about the 27th September, 2018 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, conspired to commit felony to wit: forgery of Swift Telex Advice dated 27th September, 2018, indicating transfer of the sum of €250,000,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Euros) to Coastal Asia Investments Limited account with Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc) from HSBC Bank Plc, London, United Kingdom.”

Another count reads: “That you, Tan Ah Chai Richard, Coastal Asia Investments Limited and Dr. Sawang Jana (still at large), on or about the 27th September, 2018 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, fraudulently used a false document to wit: a Swift Telex Advice dated 27th September, 2018, indicating transfer of the sum of €250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Euros) to Coastal Asia Investments Limited account with Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc), which you purported to be from HSBC Bank, London, United Kingdom by submitting the Swift Telex Advice to Chioma Omamegbe of Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc).”

The defendant, a Malaysian, pleaded he is not guilty to the charges preferred against him by the Commission.

In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Bashir M. Kamil, asked for a trial date and also urged the court to remand the defendant in prison.

Counsel to the defendant, A. B. Onifade, told the court that he was served with the charge by the prosecution only on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and that he would apply for the defendant’s bail after the proceedings.

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

However, Kamil, objected to the prayer of Onifade, stressing that the Commission’s detention facilities were already overstretched.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case to June 28, July 2 and 8, 2019 for commencement of trial, and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.

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