Kola Aluko, a businessman with interests in the oil and gas sector, has sold his Bel-Air, Los Angeles mansion, as Nigerian and European authorities investigate him for a series of money-laundering and fraud-related crimes, the Los Angeles Times has reported.
Aluko sold the home last week for $21.5 million, taking a $3 million loss after purchasing the sprawling residence in 2012 for $24.5 million.
Aluko, 46, sold the residence in an off-market transaction using a limited-liability company. Off-market sales in real estate refer to the sale of property without any form of public advertising.
Aluko’s former home – a contemporary-style showplace in the 700 block of Sarbonne Road, Los Angeles – was designed by architect Paul McClean and built in 2011.
The property sits on more than an acre, has a gated entrance, a subterranean garage and a 132-square-foot infinity-edge swimming pool, among other features.
For a long time, Aluko had been linked as a business associate of Nigeria’s former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is also currently under investigation by Nigerian and British authorities for money laundering and embezzlement.
Shortly after she became oil minister in 2010, Alison-Madueke awarded Atlantic Energy, co-founded by Aluko, the contract to fund the operational costs in four oil blocks held by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration and production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In return for providing funding to NPDC, Atlantic Energy was to lift the crude produced from the oil blocks, sell it, and thereafter pay NPDC its share of profits. But allegations have been rife that Atlantic Energy did not remit a huge chunk of the proceeds from the sale of the crude oil.