Panama Report reveals alleged hidden assets of James Ibori in Panama
Former Delta state governor, James Ibori has been indicted in a massive tax evasion scandal and allegations of corruption made by Panama Reports released in Panama, a tax haven where many wealthy people go to invest their money due to the free tax laws in the country.
According to internal data of the Panama-based offshore-provider, Mossack Fonseca, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), four offshore companies in Panama are linked to Ibori who is presently serving a 12 year jail term in the UK for stealing millions of dollars from the Delta state government when he served as governor of the state from 1999 to 2007. Below is what the paper wrote 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. 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.