London: High Ranking Nigerian Official Took Bribes And Laundered Money Through Fake Company: SOCA

7 Feb

A high ranking Nigerian government official who abused his position to take bribes and then laundered the dirty money through a fake London consultancy firm has been ordered by the High Court to hand assets worth £1.25m to SOCA.

The order was granted by the High Court in London against 68 year old Christopher Orumgbe Agidi from Lagos in Nigeria, trading as Orion Worldwide Consult Limited. Mr Agidi was the former Director of the Federal Ministry of Education and the former Director of the National Civil Registration Directorate with the Nigerian civil service from 1995 until his retirement in 2002.

In its civil recovery application, SOCA submitted that Mr Agidi had derived the majority of his assets through corruption over a five year period and that he used his consultancy firm in London as a front to launder the cash.

SOCA’s investigation identified that Mr Agidi had received bribes from two international companies whilst he was in post. The Czech and French companies both had contracts with the Nigerian Government at the time.

Today, His Honour Mr Justice Sweeney deemed Mr Agidi’s UK assets, which include a house in Golders Green, north London, and a bank account containing over £650,000, to be the proceeds of crime. The case was referred to SOCA by the Metropolitan Police.

SOCA’s Paul Evans said:

“Individuals who abuse prominent public office overseas to line their own pockets through corruption are on notice that they cannot exploit international borders to hide their criminal cash in the UK. SOCA will bring you before the courts. Mr Agidi cynically abused his position and the trust which had been placed in him for the sake of personal gain. Now everything he tried to hide here will be taken away from him.”

For more information on money laundering see our Threats pages. For more on civil recovery see our asset recovery pages. www.soca.gov.uk

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