Prince Harry and Meghan flown free to Nigeria by fugitive airline boss wanted in US: Report - Hindustan Times
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Prince Harry and Meghan flown free to Nigeria by fugitive airline boss wanted in US: Report

ByAditi Srivastava
May 20, 2024 03:42 PM IST

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Nigeria tour under scrutiny over controversial airline owner

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent trip to Nigeria is considered one of the most successful tours the estranged royals have undertaken since separating from the UK family. However, a recent report about the controversial airline owner who flew the Sussexes to the African country for free has stirred a debate: the airline's boss, Dr Allen Onyema, is allegedly a fugitive wanted in the US for serious financial crimes!

Britain's Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry (C), Duke of Sussex, and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (R) react as they pose for a photo after a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)(AFP)
Britain's Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry (C), Duke of Sussex, and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (R) react as they pose for a photo after a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)(AFP)

Harry and Meghan opted for free flight from fugitive airline boss

Harry and Meghan, whose wedding anniversary on May 19 will mark 6 years of togetherness, have many reasons to celebrate, particularly regarding their work commitments. Royal experts believe their successful tour in Nigeria will remain the most obvious reason for celebration. However, the goodwill tour just hit a turbulence patch after it was revealed, Dr Onyema, founder of Nigerian airline Air Peace, provided flights for the Sussexes during their three-day trip. They visited various locations such as Abuja, Lagos, and more, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games.

Also read: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 6th wedding anniversary plans revealed; ‘Sussexes have lot to..'

Who is Peace Airlines owner Dr Onyema?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have flown in and out of Nigeria on a safe, familiar British airline after the Duchess briefly stepped out in the UK to reunite with her husband, who was already in his hometown celebrating his Invictus milestone. But their internal travels in the African country took a surprising turn. Turns out, they flew for free on a private jet owned by Dr. Allen Onyema, a big cheese in Nigeria's airline industry. Dr. Onyema is also facing some serious heat in the US, with charges of fraud involving millions of dollars hanging over his head. In Nigeria, he is quite well known, but in the US, he is “the subject of a US federal indictment filed back in November 2019.” Report NY Post.

“Charged with bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of aeroplanes.” Said the US Department of Justice at the time.

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It remains uncertain if Harry and Meghan were made aware of the controversial status of the airline's boss in the country where the Duke is presently seeking citizenship. Throughout their three-day visit to Nigeria, the couple, who were invited by the country's highest-ranking military personnel, reportedly did not involve British Airways. According to a source cited by POST, the couple visited the country in their “private capacity”, and the UK government played “no role in organising or facilitating their activities.”

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