The current edition of the UK’s investigative journalism and satirical magazine, Private Eye, has alleged that former president Goodluck Jonathan is the owner of a £4.5m mansion in Weybridge, Surrey.
According to the magazine: The National Crime Agency (NCA) last week deployed a new anti-corruption weapon for which there are high hopes: the so-called “unexplained wealth order”. It designated two properties, worth £22m and held by an unknown eastern European, as probably acquired from dirty money.
Investigators will now demand an account of where the dosh came from with a view, in the absence of a satisfactory explanation, to confiscation. Whether this heralds a new front in the war on kleptocracy or just a shrewd PR move at the launch of a new policy remains to be seen; but Private Eye magazine – which has exposed the extent of prime property ownership through offshore companies as a key money-laundering device – has identified several more the authorities might want to look at under their new powers.
Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, and his wife Patience, appear to be behind a £4.5m mansion called “Hillside” on the St George’s Hill estate in Weybridge, Surrey. The property was acquired via BVI [British Virgin Islands] company Transocean Group Holdings.
Jonathan’s compatriot, Folorunsho “Folly” Folarin-Coker, former head of the number plate production authority in Lagos, resides at a Georgian townhouse in Chelsea that was acquired for £2.4m in 2010 – while Folly held office – via Marshall Islands company Express Holdings Ltd.
£4.5m will get you a six-bedroom detached house with an indoor pool in the St George’s Hill estate according to estate agents Zoopla. Their website claims: “St George’s Hill is set in approximately 900 acres and features a private championship standard 18 hole golf course, two nine hole courses and a separate private tennis and squash club. The tennis club is one of the foremost racket sports clubs in England, with 30 grass and all weather tennis courts, two indoor courts and four squash courts. The tennis club also has it’s own indoor swimming pool and a well-equipped gym, restaurant and bar.
“St George’s Hill offers an ideal location for families looking for security and privacy and there are several English and international schools in the area including Reeds, St George’s College and the acs International School in Cobham”.