A Dutch national, Peiter Borremans and his wife, Nkechi Borremans, have been remanded by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for allegedly defrauding two firms the sum of $330,000.
The defendants and a firm, Lagon Trade Limited, arraign in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly obtaining the said amount of cash meant for the purchase of a marine tanker vessel from the unsuspecting companies.
The defendants are facing two counts bordering on fraud and felony before Justice E. A. Obile.
The charges read: “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 did conspire with each other to commit felony to wit, obtaining money by false pretense and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other related Offenses Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
“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 $330,000 from Jackkyson Multi Services Limited & Alot General Services Limited ad advanced payment meant for the purchase of marine tanker vessel, a pretext you know to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) and (2) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 anf punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The defendants after hearing the charge against them in court on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to the two counts.
It was gathered that the defendants in July 31, 2014, allegedly scammed their victims, Jackkyson Multi Services Limited and Alot General Services Limited and made away with the sum of $330,000 being an upfront payment for the purchase of the marine tanker vessel.
The prosecuting counsel, H. E. Chukwu, following the “not guilty” plea of the defendants, urged the court to remand them at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre facility, pending the hearing of the case.
But opposing the prayer of the prosecuting counsel and citing COVID-19 pandemic concerns, counsel for the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants, C. A. Okowanye, begged the court to remand his clients in the custody of the EFCC.
Having listened to the arguments of the prosecuting and defence counsels on the matter, the presiding Judge, Justice Obile, ordered that the defendants be remanded at the custody of the EFCC.