A Nigerian oil tycoon, Kolawole “Kola” Aluko, owes a European bank millions of dollars for a mortgage he took out to purchase a $50.9 million luxury condo in New York, according to the New York Post.
Banque Havilland, based in Luxembourg, issued a $35.3 million loan to Mr. Aluko to purchase the 79th-floor penthouse at 157 East 57th Street in New York, but the oil tycoon has missed several payments, leading the bank to force a sale of the property next month.
The New York Post reports that the residential foreclosure could be the biggest in New York history.
The bank has listed Mr. Aluko’s 213-foot yacht as collateral and will collect the mortgage payment it’s owed, which was due last fall, plus interest.
In addition to his mortgage payment, Mr. Aluko owes property taxes and maintenance fees. The New York Post reports that he has not been seen “for some time” and could be hiding in his yacht.
The yacht, which he rented to Jay-Z and Beyonce in 2015 for $900,000 a week, was last registered in the Bahamas on May 3, but since then has been "out of range."
Mr. Aluko is under investigation by the Nigerian government for money laundering in a scandal involving former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke. It was alleged that Mr. Aluko, along with Jide Omokore, stole over $1.7 billion in oil assets from the federal government.
Atlantic Energy, a company owned by Mr. Aluko and Mr. Omokore, was granted several lucrative oil contracts, allegedly on the instructions of Mrs. Alison-Madueke.
The Nigerian government subsequently attempted to freeze Mr. Aluko’s assets, including properties in California and Switzerland.
However, authorities have been unable to track down the billionaire, who is believed to be traveling in his yacht.
He has also been declared wanted by British authorities, who requested that Swiss authorities assist them in arresting Mr. Aluko.
Mr. Aluko has recently been selling off his expensive properties. The New York Post reports that he sold a 2.4-acre estate in Montecito, California to Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2012, Mr. Aluko purchased a mansion in Beverly Hills, California for $14.7 million dollars. He rented the property to singer Ariana Grande before selling it for $13 million in 2016.
The oil tycoon has recently tried selling another New York apartment at 1049 5th Avenue, which he purchased for $8.5 million in 2013. He owes $61,000 in taxes to the city.