Nigeria: Thief Ibori Owns 30 Percent Of Oando — British Prosecutors

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Sept. 18, 2013

By Nicholas Ibekwe

Contrary to the claim by oil and gas company, Oando Plc, that former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, owns “insignificant” shares in the company, British prosecutors, Tuesday, provided overwhelming evidence that the convicted money launderer owns almost a third of the company.

A crown prosecutor told a British Crown Court in Southwark, London, that Mr. Ibori told a Swiss private bank in 2004 that he owns up to 30 per cent of Oando.

Mr. Ibori is believed to have laundered more than N12.5 billion (£50 million) stolen from the treasury of oil-rich Delta State during his tenure as governor. The case has been described as one of the biggest embezzlement cases ever seen in Britain.

More details of how he hid his illicit wealth in a maze of shell companies and offshore accounts are expected to be revealed in a the three-week long asset confiscation hearing that started on Monday.

According to Ms. Wass, while opening an account at Swiss bank, PKB, through a shell company called Stanhope Investment, Mr. Ibori told the bank he owns 30 per cent of Oando.

Reading from internal PKB documents, Ms. Wass said the former governor passed himself as the owner of an insurance company and 50 per cent owner of a Nigerian Bank.

She also revealed that N180 million ($1.2 million) was transferred from Oando in three instalments into Mr. Ibori’s account in PKB. She said the money was subsequently transferred into a fund meant to purchase a N3 billion ($20 million) private jet for Mr Ibori.
Oando, Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil company, issued a statement Monday denying that some of Mr. Ibori’s wealth was hidden in the company.
“Based on our current shareholding register, Mr Ibori’s shareholding stands at 443 shares out of a total issued and paid-up share capital of 6.8 billion ordinary shares, which is clearly insignificant, and cannot be considered as a large part of Oando,” the firm said.
Oando shares dipped 10 per cent at the shock market, on Tuesday after news of Mr. Ibori’s involvement with the company broke.
Money like the Kennedys
Internal document shows that Mr. Ibori awed officials of PKB with his enormous stolen wealth so much that the bank likened him to a descendant of the Kennedys in the U.S. The bank described Mr. Ibori as being from a wealthy Nigerian family with decades old wealth gained from investment in the petroleum sector.

“We could compare these families with the Kennedy dynasty which also mixed business and politics,” the bank document said.
Another part of the document also described him as “an extremely rich man as he was doing a lot of business before becoming governor”

Recent evidence has shown that Mr. Ibori started out as a career petty thief who stole building materials in Nigeria and shoplifted in cohort with his now convicted wife in the U.K.

Oando had claimed Mr. Ibori owns insignificant shares of the company.

Contrary to the claim by oil and gas company, Oando Plc, that former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, owns “insignificant” shares in the company, British prosecutors, Tuesday, provided overwhelming evidence that the convicted money launderer owns almost a third of the company.
A crown prosecutor told a British Crown Court in Southwark, London, that Mr. Ibori told a Swiss private bank in 2004 that he owns up to 30 per cent of Oando.
Mr. Ibori is believed to have laundered more than N12.5 billion (£50 million) stolen from the treasury of oil-rich Delta State during his tenure as governor.

The case has been described as one of the biggest embezzlement cases ever seen in Britain.

More details of how he hid his illicit wealth in a maze of shell companies and offshore accounts are expected to be revealed in a the three-week long asset confiscation hearing that started on Monday.

According to Ms. Wass, while opening an account at Swiss bank, PKB, through a shell company called Stanhope Investment, Mr. Ibori told the bank he owns 30 per cent of Oando.

Reading from internal PKB documents, Ms. Wass said the former governor passed himself as the owner of an insurance company and 50 per cent owner of a Nigerian Bank.

She also revealed that N180 million ($1.2 million) was transferred from Oando in three installments into Mr. Ibori’s account in PKB. She said the money was subsequently transferred into a fund meant to purchase a N3 billion ($20 million) private jet for Mr Ibori.
Oando, Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil company, issued a statement Monday denying that some of Mr. Ibori’s wealth was hidden in the company.

“Based on our current shareholding register, Mr Ibori’s shareholding stands at 443 shares out of a total issued and paid-up share capital of 6.8 billion ordinary shares, which is clearly insignificant, and cannot be considered as a large part of Oando,” the firm said.
Oando shares dipped 10 per cent at the shock market, on Tuesday after news of Mr. Ibori’s involvement with the company broke.
Money like the Kennedys

Internal document shows that Mr. Ibori awed officials of PKB with his enormous stolen wealth so much that the bank likened him to a descendant of the Kennedys in the U.S. The bank described Mr. Ibori as being from a wealthy Nigerian family with decades old wealth gained from investment in the petroleum sector.

“We could compare these families with the Kennedy dynasty which also mixed business and politics,” the bank document said.

Another part of the document also described him as “an extremely rich man as he was doing a lot of business before becoming governor”

Recent evidence has shown that Mr. Ibori started out as a career petty thief who stole building materials in Nigeria and shoplifted in cohort with his now convicted wife in the U.K.

READ MORE: http://premiumtimesng.com/news/144843-ibori-owns-30-per-cent-oando-swiss…

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