Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has remanded a Dutch national, Peiter Borremans and his wife, Nkechi Borremans, for fraudulent dealings involving a marine oil vessel to the tune of $330,000.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned the Dutch couple, alongside Lagon Trade Limited before Justice E.A Obile of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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.
Trouble started for the Dutch couple when a petitioner, 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 $1,100,000 and made a part payment of $330,000.
The defendants allegedly vanished into thin air, since 2014, after collecting the money and all efforts to get a refund or delivery of the vessel proved abortive.
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 $330,000 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”.
The suspects pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when it was 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.