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Saturday, 23 November 2019

The United States authorities have frozen about $14.2 million in bank accounts linked to companies registered by Allen Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace Limited.

Mr Onyema and Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s head of finance and administration, were recently indicted for alleged money laundering and bank fraud in the United States.

Both suspects strongly deny the allegations and said they looked forward to proving their innocence in court.

The charges were first made public by the United States Department of Justice on Friday night.

The charges said Mr Onyema used several companies he set up in the U.S. to launder funds and commit bank fraud through issuance of counterfeit letters of credit.

Some of the companies’ bank accounts in the U.S. and Canada had been frozen with their substantial balances as part of the investigation, court documents showed.

The documents showed that $4,017,852.51 was seized from JP Morgan Chase Bank account number ending in 5512 held in the name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC.

Another $4,593,842.05 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending 7523 in the name of Springfield Aviation Inc. was also seized.

The American government also traced and seized $5,634,842.04 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending in 515 in the name of Bluestream Aero Services, Inc.

American law enforcement authorities indicated in the charge document that efforts had commenced to secure final forfeitures of the funds.

In an earlier statement Saturday, Mr Onyema said he was innocent.

“As the press statement clearly stated, these are indictment (sic) that only contain charges,” the statement said.

“I am innocent of all charges and the US government will find no dirt on me because I have never conducted business with any illegalities.

“Be rest assured that I also have my lawyers on this and these mere allegations will be refuted. I never laundered money in my life, neither have I committed bank fraud anywhere in the world. Every Kobo I transferred to the US for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria LC regime and all were used for the same purpose.

“The American companies that received the funds are still in business. I never took a penny from any US bank or Nigerian bank. I am willing to defend my innocence in the US courts,” the AirPeace CEO stated

Published in Business
Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:24

U.S. military drone is missing

The U.S. has said that it lost a military drone over the Libyan capital Tripoli, where months-long fighting is dragging on between warring rivals.

The remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) was lost on Thursday, the U.S. Africa Command said early Saturday.

The incident is being investigated, the command said without details.

“RPA operations are conducted in Libya to assess the ongoing security situation and monitor violent extremist activity.

“These operations are critical to counter activity in Libya and are fully coordinated with appropriate government officials,” the command said.

Libya slid into anarchy after a 2011 armed revolt which toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi, making the oil-rich country a magnet for militants including Islamic State.

Libya has at least two rival administrations: a UN-backed government based in Tripoli, and the other based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is allied with military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

In April, Haftar ordered a military campaign to seize Tripoli.

This week, Haftar’s forces said they had downed an Italian drone in western Libya.

Published in World
Saturday, 23 November 2019 18:43

Worlds fastest car unveiled

The ‘world’s fastest straight-line car’ has been unveiled in South Africa’s Hakskeenpan desert.

The car, which has been developed by the Bloodhound Land Speed Record (BLSR) team, can travel at staggering speeds of over 500 miles/hour, and could break the world land speed record in 2020.

It’s powered by a EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and features precision machined solid aluminium wheels, which are designed to withstand the stresses of travelling at supersonic speeds.

The BLSR team will put the car through its paces at the Hakskeenpan desert racetrack, before attempting to break the world land speed record next year.

One of the key objectives of the tests will be to see how the car behaves when slowing down and stopping, having reached such huge speeds.

Mark Chapman, Bloodhound LSR Engineering Director, said: “Newquay was all about getting up to speed and finding out how quickly we could get the engine to full power and accelerate using max reheat.

“Andy was on the throttle for two seconds to reach 200 mph (322 km/h) in eight seconds.

“Here at the Hakskeenpan on a 10 mile (16 kilometre) track we can accelerate for much longer, achieve higher speeds and investigate the car’s stability, performance and drag, all crucial as we move towards setting a new world land speed record.”

One of the key pieces of technology at the test track is the Low Power Wide Area Network IoT remote sensor array.

This system uses stations every 1km along the track, which record wind speed and direction - which are key when the car is going at such speed.

Peter Karney, a spokesperson for Digital Catapult, the firm behind the technology, explained: “The car is aiming to go faster than any other land-based machine built thus far.

“At the speeds hoped for, unexpected cross wind could significantly affect the stability and direction of the vehicle and are therefore a key decision point on when to run the car.

“We will be measuring and storing accurate data at 1 km points along the track and therefore this info can be used by the team to plan the run.”

Published in Travel & Tourism
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