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Monday, 29 July 2019

Nigerian And US Goverments Sell Off $42m Yacht Owned By Diezani's Ally

The Federal Government of Nigeria and the United States Government have sold off a 65-metre Galactica Star 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.

Although the yacht was priced at $42m, it could not be confirmed the exact amount that the vessel was sold.

Aluko, who is an ally of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been on the radar of anti-graft agencies for the last four years.

According to Yacht Harbour, the yacht, which was custom-built by Dutch yard Heesen in 2013, is the second largest ever built by Heesen

The vessel, which was sold on July 25, 2019, features exterior styling by Omega Architects, engineering by Van Oossanen & Associates, finished by interiors from the boards of Bannenberg & Rowell.

The report reads in part, “In April 2019, the vessel was offered for sale in a sealed bid arrangement proposed by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and approved by US federal court. The sale process roots back to corruption case against two Nigerian nationals.”

The US government had accused Aluko and another oil businessman, Jide Omokore, of laundering money in the US and using it to acquire the yacht, among other assets.

The report adds, “The US and Nigerian governments received Federal Court approval to sell the arrested super yacht due to high maintenance and dockage fees, estimating the combined cost at around $170,000 per month. Managed by Fraser, the vessel was listed at $42m.”

Galactica Star accommodates up to 12 guests overnight in six cabins, comprising a master suite, one VIP stateroom, and four double cabins.

It is also capable of carrying up to 13 crew members onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.

The yacht used to be popular for charter among celebrities. It was once rented by American music industry power couple, Jay Z and Beyonce for a holiday cruise.


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