N6bn subsidy fraud – SFU launches manhunt for suspects

Nigeria Police 106 December 2013, Lagos – The Special Fraud Unit, SFU, of the Nigeria Police in Lagos has launched a manhunt for three alleged fuel subsidy fraudsters who swindled the federal government to the tune of over N6 billion.

The SFU in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Ngozi Isintume-Agu, declared that the Managing Director of Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Limited, Tony Onoh,; Managing Director, Tubbs Marine and Energy Limited, Ayinde Olatimbo Bukola, and Managing Director of Fargo Petroleum, Seun Ogunbambo, all conspired and forged documents to defraud the federal government of over N6 billion.

It stated that Onoh is the arrow head behind CMEC/Eurafric that won the bid for Sapele Genco with a bid sum of $201 million but has repeatedly defaulted in making complete payment for the PHCN asset.

Onoh’s last know address according to the police statement was Plot 24B Marinho Drive Victoria Island Lagos. “Efforts to track him and his collaborators down have so far proved abortive,” the statement said.

A petition by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments to the Commissioner of Police SFU, stated that Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Limited were granted permit to import petrol between 2010 and 2011.

“The company claimed that it imported 85,519,068 liters of PMS into the country in six transactions. Based on this, it applied for payment and the sum of N6,130,006,149.30 was paid as subsidy by the federal government but it was later discovered that Eurafric did not execute the transaction as claimed, rather it traded off the permit to a third party company named Tubbs Marine Services Limited in the sum of N65 million”

The police statement noted that the aforementioned Onoh, Ayinde and Ogunbambo who are now on the run, through their companies, allegedly collaborated in the fraud and did not import any products based on the permit but fraudulently conspired to forge documents with which they applied and received payment of over N2 billion each, as subsidy claims thereby defrauding the federal government.

“The company named Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Ltd was granted permit to import PMS into Nigeria for public consumption between 2010 and 2011 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). Following the permit, the company claimed it imported 85,519,068 litres of PMS into Nigeria between the year 2010 and 2011 in six transactions.

As a result of the above, the company applied for and was paid N6,130,006,149.03 in subsidy claim by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The SFU statement further stated that “available evidence confirmed that Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Ltd did not execute the transaction in which the vessel – MT Dani 1 (EX MT Hellenie Blue) allegedly discharged 14,441,740 litres of PMS on 21/12/2011 for which subsidy sum of N1,306,995.88 was paid.

“Rather than execute this permit personally as required, Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Limited with the intention to defraud, traded off the permit to a third party company named Tubbs Marine Services Ltd in the sum of N65million.

“Tubbs Marine Services Ltd whose Chairman/Managing Director, Ayinde Olatimbo Bukola now at large, conspired with one Seun Ogunbambo who is the Managing Director of Fargo Petroleum Ltd, also now at large to forge documents with which they successfully made claim for subsidy payment in respect of PMS product that was never imported into Nigeria. Every effort so far made to locate the kingpin in this huge fraud named Seun Ogunbambo has yielded no fruit as the suspect is nowhere to be found in his last known addresses as: No. 2 Olamijuyin Avenue , Park View Estate, Ikoyi. 95, Awolowo Road , Ikoyi, Lagos.”
*Chinedu Ezeobi, Thisday

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