The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a Dutch couple: Peiter Borremans and Nkechi Borremans alongside Lagon Trade Limited before Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State for suspected fraudulent dealings involving a marine Tanker Vessel to the tune of $330,000 (Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand United States Dollars).
They were arraigned on two- count charges bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Peiter Borremans, Nkechi Borremans, and Lagon Trade Limited, on or about the 31st day of July, 2014 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars ($330,000:00) only from Jackkyson Multi Services Limited and Alot General Services Limited, as advance payment meant for the purchase of Marine Tanker Vessel a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, N. A. Dodo prayed the court for a date for commencement of trial and for the defendants to be remanded in a Correctional Centre.
Defence counsel, C. A. Okowanya informed the court of oral applications for the bail of his clients and prayed that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody due to the second wave of Covid-19.
Justice Obile adjourned the matter till March 31, 2021 for commencement of trial and remanded the defendants in EFCC custody.
Trouble started for the couple when a petitioner alleged that his company: Jackkyson Multi Services Limited and Alot General services Limited, offered to purchase a Marine Tanker Vessel from Lagon Trade Limited (belonging to Peiter Borremans and Nkechi Borremans) For One Million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars( $1,100,000) and made a part payment of Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars ($330,000:00).
The defendants allegedly vanished into thin air after collecting the money and all efforts to get a refund or delivery of the Vessel proved abortive.
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