America To Recover Over 100 Million USD Laundered By Nigerian Oil Managers

The United States has filed a suit seeking the forfeiture of illicit wealth acquired by the managers of Nigeria’s oil and gas. In a press release by Mr. Kenneth A, the Acting Assistant Attorney General and his team, the US Department of Justice says it seeks the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $144 million in assets laundered in through the United States.

According to US government, from 2011 to 2015, two Nigerians Mr. Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore in collaboration with other persons paid bribes to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Nigeria’s former Minister for Petroleum Resources.

In return for the illicit transaction, Madueke utilized her influence using Strategic Alliance Agreements (SAAs) that allowed for worthwhile oil contracts to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited; both companies belong to Aluko and Omokore.

The companies were to finance the exploration and production operations of eight on-shore oil and gas blocks. And in return, they are expected to receive a portion of the oil and gas produced.

The US government discovered that the companies made available only a small part of the agreed terms, while in some cases failed the agreed terms completely.

The companies refused to meet other obligations under the SAAs, which the payment of $120 million entry fee is part of them.

In spite of that, the companies had the permission to lift and sell more than $1.5 billion worth of Nigerian crude oil.

The US government discovered that some of the illicitly wealth were laundered and used to purchase numerous properties including a $50 million condominium located in one of Manhattan’s most expensive buildings – 157 W. 57th Street – and the Galactica Star, an $80 million yacht.

“The United States is not a safe haven for the proceeds of corruption,” Attorney General Blanco the Acting Assistant Attorney said. “The US action demonstrates the country’s commitment to working with law enforcement globally to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption, no matter the source.

Corrupt foreign officials and business executives should make no mistake: if illicit funds are within the reach of the United States, we will seek to forfeit them and to return them to the victims from whom they were stolen.” The state warned.

America will not tolerate using her institutions to launder proceeds of foreign corruption and warned that this should serve as a warning to other corrupt foreign officials that the United States is not open for their business.”

Audu Liberty Oseni

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