Mystery Buyer Pays $36m For Aluko’s New York Penthouse
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.
Aluko purchased the sprawling penthouse on Billionaires’ Row in 2014 for $51 million. He has since however defaulted on mortgage and tax payments on the property, and become embroiled in a money laundering scheme.
The apartment was initially set to go on the auction block in July, but it was postponed after another one of Aluko’s creditors came forward demanding repayment for jet fuel and gasoline worth $83 million.
There was even an attempted sale on the property in September. The $39 million price didn’t not bring out any interested buyers, and so it was back to the auction block.
The 47-year-old tycoon, linked to former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has vanished from the radar since he was being looked for by both the US authorities and the EFCC.
In 2015, the ship was sailing around the Mediterranean. It was spotted in Cancun last year, and may now be berthed in Turkey.
The ship, apart from the penthouse, has been listed for seizure by the US government, in the case filed in Houston, Texas.
Both Aluko and Omokore are alleged in the case to have paid bribes between 2011 and 2015 to Diezani who ensured that shell companies owned by the businessmen received billion-dollar contracts to sell Nigeria’s crude oil.