The British government’s prosecutors are currently moving to seize 30.8 million pounds ($39.3 million) from a lawyer who aided former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori laundered looted funds from the state to UK.
Bhadresh Gohil was convicted in 2010 of 13 counts of money-laundering and other offences linked to his role in the case of James Ibori, who was governor of Delta State in southern Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Gohil was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
According to Reuters, Gohil had helped Ibori channel stolen funds through shell companies and offshore accounts, and bought assets such as an English country house and a $20 million private jet – although police caught up with the men before the jet was delivered.
It was reported that Gohil masterminded a fraud in which $37 million in fake consultancy fees was stolen from two Nigerian states in connection with the sale of their stakes in a telecoms company.
Ibori was extradited to Britain in 2011, and in 2012 was convicted of 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering and jailed for 13 years.
In Ibori’s case, a hearing took place at London’s Southwark Crown Court in January. Prosecutors asked the court to make a confiscation order against Ibori of 117.7 million pounds. The judge has yet to hand down his decision.
A hearing on Gohil’s case is ongoing at the same court. Lead prosecution counsel Jonathan Kinnear on Thursday began setting out the details of what he said was Gohil’s criminal benefit.
Gohil will have a chance later in the hearing to call witnesses and give evidence himself to dispute the prosecution case. Any confiscation order against him, as for Ibori, will be issued by the judge at a later date.