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US Govt Recovers Over $53m Fraud Proceeds Involving Diezani, Aluko, Omokore



The United States government has recovered over $53m fraud proceeds involving a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and her associates.

US Govt Recovers Over $53m Fraud Proceeds Involving Diezani, Aluko, Omokore

The US department of justice on Monday announced the final resolution of two civil cases seeking the forfeiture of the luxury assets that were laundered in and through the country in a case involving Madueke and businessmen Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Akanni.

“With the conclusion of the cases, the department has recovered roughly $53.1 million in cash – constituting the net liquidated value of the defendant’s assets – plus a promissory note with a principal value of $16 million,” the U.S. Justice department said in a statement.

“According to court documents, from 2011 to 2015, Nigerian businessmen Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore conspired with others to pay bribes to Nigeria’s former minister for petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who oversaw Nigeria’s state-owned oil company,” the statement reads.

“In return, Alison-Madueke used her influence to steer lucrative oil contracts to companies owned by Aluko and Omokore. The proceeds of those illicitly awarded contracts totaling more than $100 million were then laundered in and through the United States and used to purchase various assets through shell companies, including luxury real estate in California and New York as well as the Galactica Star, a 65-meter superyacht.

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“The real estate was also used as collateral for loans to Aluko and shell companies he controlled. As part of the forfeiture process, those lien holders were paid.”

Mrs Alison-Madueke, Mr Omokore, and Mr Aluko have also been subjects of criminal trials in Nigeria over related oil industry alleged corruption.

Mrs Alison-Madueke has not been seen in Nigeria since the end of her ministerial tenure on May 29, 2015. She is believed to be in exile in the United Kingdom. Mr Aluko has also remained at large. Mr Omokore is the only one of the trio who has been physically present in Nigeria to attend trials.

The American cases involving Mrs Alison-Madueke, Mr Omokore and Mr Aluko were brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

KanyiDaily recalls that Nigeria and the US had sold off a super yacht worth $42m (N15.1bn) belonging to oil magnate Kola Aluko, who was accused of cheating Nigeria out of almost $1.8bn (N648bn) in siphoned crude oil sales.

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