A massive, anonymous leak of financial documents from a Panamanian law firm has revealed an extensive worldwide network of offshore “shell” companies including ones with ties to former Delta state governor, James Ibori, inlaws of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Russian President Vladimir Putin among others that allow the wealthy to hide their assets from taxes and, in some cases, to launder billions in cash, as alleged by a German newspaper.
The documents, combed through in the past year by hundreds of journalists worldwide, show links to 72 current or former heads of state, including dictators accused of looting their own countries.
“I think the leak will prove to be probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents,” said Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which coordinated the reporting.
James Ibori
On the former Delta state governor, the report states, “James Ibori, governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State from 1999 to 2007, pleaded guilty in a London court in 2012 to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offenses. Ibori admitted using his position as governor to corruptly obtain and divert up to $75 million out of Nigeria through a network of offshore companies, although authorities alleged that the total amount he embezzled may have exceeded $250 million.
“Ibori, who received a 13-year prison sentence, used millions of dollars to support a lavish lifestyle that included six houses in London and a fleet of Range Rovers, Bentleys and Mercedes.
“Inside the Mossack Fonseca data Offshore company figured in fraud and money laundering investigation Mossack Fonseca was the registered agent of four offshore companies connected to James Ibori, including Julex Foundation, of which Ibori and family members were beneficiaries.
“Julex was the shareholder of Stanhope Investments, a company incorporated in Niue in 2003. Ibori was also connected to Financial Advisory Group Ltd. and Hunglevest Corporation, although Mossack Fonseca’s files do not specify the exact nature of his connection.
“In 2008, Mossack Fonseca received a request from the Seychelles government to produce documents as part of a probe by the Crown Prosecution Service, England’s principal prosecuting authority, of Ibori and alleged criminal activities. In 2012, Ibori pleaded guilty in a London court to laundering and fraud charges. During court hearings in the United Kingdom, prosecutors claimed that Ibori opened a Swiss bank account in the name of Stanhope Investments through which millions of dollars were later channeled to ultimately buy a $20 million private jet.”
Sarakis
The report also alleged that the Bukola and Toyin Saraki have at least four undeclared assets in “secret offshore territories.” While Saraki has denied owning undeclared properties, reportedly saying he has “declared his assets properly in accordance with the relevant legislation,” and that the charges against him “are both unfounded and politically motivated,” his family name may still be tainted as his brother, Laolu Saraki is linked to one of the names on the list.
Laolu Saraki was listed in the Panama Papers as a business associate of Kojo Annan, the son of the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, whose name is very prominent on the list.
Last night the office of the Senate President denied any link with the allegation stating that he has fully complied with the provisions of the law on declaration of assets by public officers.
In a reaction to the claim contained in the Panama-based offshore provider, Mossack Fonseca and shared by the International Consortium of Investigation Journalists (ICIJ) that he failed to declare assets belonging to his wife, Mrs Toyin Saraki, in secret offshore territories, Saraki said he has in his different asset declarations included properties owned individually by himself and his wife.
The property in question forms part of Dr Saraki’s wife’s family asset. It is public knowledge that Mrs. Saraki comes from a family of independent means and wealth with numerous and varied assets acquired over decades in family estates and investments.
“Furthermore, the law only requires a public officer to declare both his own assets and those held by his spouse and his children under 18 years of age. The law does not require a public officer to declare assets held by the spouse’s family.
“It is not expected by the law that a public officer should declare such assets held in the spouse’s family estate. Indeed, the Code of Conduct form does not make provision for declaration of spouse’s family assets,” he stated.
nt, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki today said


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  • vic

    THIS BIG TIME THIEF SARAKI’S NAME IS ASSOCIATED WITH THESE STEALINGS AND THEFTS IN MORE THAN ONE WAY. THIS FAMILY OF FRAUD AND DECEPTION HAS GAINED INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION FOR THEIR STOLEN ASSETS IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. A THIEF WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A THIEF. THIS SARAKI FAMILY WILL GO IN HISTORY AS A FAMILY OF ASSORTED THIEVES AND LOOTERS.