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Stolen Nigerian oil assets to be seized in the US
July 30, 2017, 1:43 pm

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced plans to recover approximately US$144 million in assets from Nigerian oil executives following alleged corruption.

The assets include a $50 million condominium "located in one of Manhattan's most expensive buildings" and an $80 million 200-foot yacht, according to the DOJ statement.

According to the DOJ, between 2011 and 2015, two Nigerian businessmen, Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore, conspired with others to pay bribes to former Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The former oil minister and her two businessmen-allies have, in the last two years, been at the center of many investigations and court actions around management of Nigeria's oil industry.

In a civil forfeiture notice filed last week by the US Department of Justice, prosecutors narrated how the two businessmen allegedly conspired to bribe the former minister purchasing property worth millions of dollars in London and New York for Mrs. Alison-Madueke and her family.

Last year, the Nigerian government filed for a court order for world-wide seizure of assets linked to the two men, described as close allies of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

The two businessmen are accused of buying a total of four residential properties in and around London worth $11.45 million, and furnished them with furniture, artwork and other luxury items. In just one day in May 2012, Mr. Aluko was said to have wired $461,500 and $262,091 to two furniture stores in Houston from a Swiss bank account, on behalf of Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

The bribe, according to prosecutors, was in exchange for $1.5 billion worth of oil deal awarded to two shell companies linked to the two men. Prosecutors described the two companies as "unqualified" for the deal but were nonetheless given the contracts for sale of crude oil. The businessmen then allegedly plotted more shell companies to launder the proceeds through the United States.


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