Aluko’s NY pent­house sold at $36m

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

A yet-to-be iden­ti­fied buyer has paid $36mil­lion for the lux­ury pent­house at the One57 tower in New York for­merly owned by wanted Nige­rian oil­man Kola Aluko.

Quot­ing Bloomberg, Curbed re­ported that the 79th floor apart­ment was sold at a fore­clo­sure auc­tion. The trans­ac­tion means a $15m loss on the prop­erty.

The oil mag­nate wanted in Nige­ria by the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion for fraud­u­lent oil deals es­ti­mated at $1.5 bil­lion, bought the apart­ment in 2014 for $51m.

Aluko, along with his busi­ness part­ner Jide Omokore, also has a case to an­swer in the United States for al­leged money laun­der­ing charges.

With oil deals closed in Nige­ria, Aluko sub­se­quently de­faulted on mort­gage and tax pay­ments on the prop­erty.

The Lux­em­bourg-based Banque Hav­il­land which is­sued the mort­gage on the One57 apart­ment had ini­tially planned to put the apart­ment up for auc­tion in July, but fore­clo­sure pro­ceed­ings were de­layed af­ter an­other one of Kola Aluko’s cred­i­tors came for­ward and claimed the Nige­rian oil­man owed it about $83 mil­lion for gaso­line and jet fuel.

The bank at­tempted to sell the prop­erty in Septem­ber for $39m but couldn’t get any buyer. So it was put back on the auc­tion block.

The 47-year-old ty­coon, linked to for­mer oil min­is­ter, Diezani AlisonMadueke, has van­ished from the radar since he was be­ing looked for by both the US au­thor­i­ties and the EFCC.

A Nige­rian court tried to freeze Aluko’s as­sets, in­clud­ing his One57 unit, as part of the al­leged scheme to de­fraud the gov­ern­ment of oil sale prof­its.

But the court could not find Aluko to serve him with pa­pers. It is be­lieved that he may sim­ply be float­ing around the world on his 213-foot yacht, the Galac­tica Star., bought at a cost of $80m, de­spite strong ob­jec­tions by Nige­ria’s for­mer oil min­is­ter, Diezani Ali­son Madueke.

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