A Malaysian man identified as Tan Richard, was on Wednesday remanded in Kirikiri prison by a Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja for allegedly attempting to defraud Polaris Bank of €250m.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Richard alongside his company, Coastal Asia Investments Limited, on five counts bordering on forgery, intent to defraud and use of false document.
However, the suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the EFCC counsel, Mohammed Bashir, the defendants and one Dr Sawang Jana (still at large) committed the alleged offences on September 27, 2018, in Lagos.
Likewise, the offences were said to contravene sections 363 (2), 364 (1) and 409, 5(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011. The anti-graft agency alleged that Richard and Jana tried to get the sum of € 250 million from Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc) on false pretenses with the intention of defrauding.
The Commission further alleged that Richard had forged a Swift Telex Advice dated 27 September 2018, indicating that the sum of €250m had been transferred to a Coastal Asia Investment Account number 1771828771 with Polaris Bank, while claiming the same amount to be transferred from HSBC Bank Plc, London, UK.
The defence counsel, O. A. Onifade noted that Richard had boils all over his body and needed medical attention while urging the court to admit his client to bail.
He said,“ The defendant was granted administrative bail by the commission and since then, the defendant has been consistently reporting at the EFCC’s office in Abuja.“The defendant was brought to Lagos from Abuja on Tuesday while I was just shown the charges right here in court at about 9am. The defendant’s passport is still with the EFCC and he has boils all over his body, which require medical attention.
“My humble application is that the defendant be kept in the custody of the EFCC pending the determination of his bail application by the court.”Justice Mojisola Dada, however, refused the application of the defence counsel and remanded Richard in Kirikiri Prison.
However, the case was adjourned till June 15 and July 2 for trial.
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