Fuel Subsidy Fraud: UBA Drags Four Persons to Police Special Fraud Unit Over 1 billion Naira Debt
The United Bank of Africa Plc, UBA has dragged Ngozi Ofodum of Menol Oil & Gas Ltd and three Directors of Faiceck Petroleum Ltd to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigerian Police Force for fraudulently diverting 7,000MT of PMS valued at N832m with forged documents submitted to Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Abuja, for subsidy payment.
According to the petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU) by the Bank, a facility for the sum of N1b was granted to Ngozi Ofodum of Menol Oil & Gas Ltd in June 2011 to finance the importation of 7,000MT of PMS for supply to acceptable off-takers.
The facility it said was to be secured with Sovereign Debt Bond Note (SDBN) from Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to the order of UBA Plc Menol Oil & Gas Ltd upon submission of relevant documentations by the off-takers for verification and confirmation by PPPRA to enable subsidy claim.
The Bank further stated that, The 1st suspect, Ngozi Ofodum of Menol Oil & Gas Ltd contacted one Cynthia Gboneme of Faiceck Petroleum Ltd who accepted to off-take the imported products. The product was successfully supplied to Faiceck Petroleum and they were expected to return the evidence for the discharge of the products at a designated tank farm in Nigeria to enable Menol Oil & Gas Ltd collected SDNB from PPPRA to liquidate the facility.
Faiceck Petroleum Ltd whose Directors are Cynthia Gboneme, Frank Gboneme and Ikechukwu Gboneme conspired with their logistics manager, one Ladi Utieyione and handed forged documents to Ngozi Ofodum of Menol Oil & Gas Ltd and the documents were rejected by PPPRA.
Investigation revealed that 7,000MT of PMS arrived the shores of this country and the 1st suspect, Ngozi Ofodum entrusted the whole consignment to the 2nd suspect Cynthia Gboneme and her company, Faiceck Petroleum Ltd to handle.
The Products was supposed to be discharged at Integrated Oil & Gas Depot, Lagos but was later diverted to an unknown destination by Faiceck Petroleum Ltd. Ngozi Ofodum further stated that when she confronted Faiceck Petroleum to ascertain how the products disappeared, they lied that they had discharged the products and presented her with some forged documents.
The 2nd suspect, Cynthia Gboneme confirmed the statement of the 1st suspect Ngozi Ofodum that she accepted to be an off-taker of the product but she handed the transaction to one Ladi Utieyione of Oversea Marine Ltd and that 4,512MT of PMS was discharged at Deep Water Tanker Marine Ltd due to lack of space at Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd while the remaining 2,500MT was confiscated by the vessel owner as demurrage.
The other suspect, Ladi Utieyione corroborated Cynthia’s statement that only 4,512MT of PMS was discharged while the remaining products seized by the vessel owner. He equally denied the allegation of forged document and maintained that the documents submitted to PPPRA covered only 4,512MT which is awaiting subsidy payment.
However, investigation so far revealed that the petitioner, UBA financed the importation of 7,000MT of PMS by the 1st suspect, Menol Oil & Gas Ltd which transaction was off-taken by the 2nd suspect’s company, Faiceck Petroleum Ltd.
The transaction ran into troubled waters ostensibly through some sharp practices in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry orchestrated by some oil marketing companies. The suspects are presently in Police custody assisting detectives in the investigation.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in-charge of the Unit, CP Tunde Ogunsakin said investigation is on-going and said vowed to unveil the identities of the perpetrators of this fraudulent act at the conclusion of Police discreet investigation. No stone will be left unturned, he stressed.
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