The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has on Wednesday brought a Malaysian, Tan Richard, before a Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja for allegedly attempting to defraud Polaris Bank of €250m.
Richard is standing trial alongside his company, Coastal Asia Investments Limited, on five counts bordering on forgery, intent to defraud and use of false document. to which he pleaded not guilty.
In his submission, the EFCC counsel, Mohammed Bashir, narrated that the defendants and one Dr Sawang Jana (still at large) committed the alleged offences on September 27, 2018, in Lagos.
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.
According to the EFCC, Richard and Jana attempted to obtain the sum of €250m from Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Skye Bank Plc) by false pretences.
Richard was said to have forged a Swift Telex Advice dated September 27, 2018, indicating the transfer of the sum of €250m to a Coastal Asia Investment Account number 1771828771 with Polaris Bank, while purporting same to be from HSBC Bank Plc, London, United Kingdom.
However, the defence counsel, O. A. Onifade, while urging the court to admit to his client to bail, noted that Richard had boils all over his body and needed medical attention.
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 yesterday (Tuesday) while I was just shown the charges right here in court around 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.”
But Justice Mojisola Dada refused the application of the defence counsel and remanded Richard in the Kirikiri Prison, while the matter was adjourned till June 15 and July 2 for trial.