Sanusi Lamido, MTN , Stanbic IBTC In $8Billion Money Laundering Scam

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TELECOMS giant MTN Nigeria has been accused of engaging in large scale

money laundering which has helped in not only depleting Nigeria's Foreign

Exchange (Forex) reserves but also has negatively affected the country's

economy over the last five years, National Daily can authoritatively

Presidency sources who did not want to be mentioned disclosed to this

newspaper that an anonymous petition sent to President Goodluck Jonathan

by someone who claims to be in the know of the transactions, had triggered

what they described as a special investigation into humongous economic

sabotage activities embarked upon by the actors. Accordingly, the telecoms

company has allegedly since February 7, 2008 engaged in practices that

clearly constitute economic sabotage against the Federal Republic of

Nigeria. Our sources highlighted that all the transactions were done in

collusion with top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and that

petitions sent to the Central Bank Governor over this fraudulent transfer

of funds from Nigeria to safe havens abroad were ignored by the Governor

because he has interest to protect.
In the said petition a copy of which National Daily obtained with

supporting documents that exposed the monumental act of money laundering,

it was noted that MTN Nigeria in concert with Standard Chartered Bank and

Stanbic IBTC Bank illegally remitted the sum of USD 936,017,265.89 to the

Cayman Island, British Virgin Island and Mauritius. He also explained how

MTN fraudulently used 20 copies of forged Certificates of Capital

Importation allegedly used by a foreign investors who brought in foreign

capital investment on February 7,2008 through Standard Chartered Bank and

on February 8,2008 the said Capital had yielded proceeds that were

repatriated to the tune of USD936,017,265.89.
The petitioner carefully itemized all the transactions starting with the

one made on behalf of N-Cell Limited with office address at Geneva Water

Front Drive, British Virgin Islands. This company had the sum of

$31,057,339.23 remitted on their behalf to Barclays Private Bank, Hans

Crescent, London (account number withheld). The second remittance was made

on behalf of SASPV limited located at Port Louis, Mauritius  (account

number withheld), domiciled at the same Barclays Private Bank London. The

next transfer was the sum of $590,574,488.17 made on behalf Of MTN

International Mauritius Limited with office address at Suite 525 Barley

Wharf, Port Louis Mauritius. Our sources equally provided evidence with

account numbers, names of banks and transaction details of other similar

numerous transactions made on behalf of MTN Nigeria by Stanbic IBTC and

Standard Chartered Bank.
The highlighted that these transactions were funds generated in Nigeria

from MTN operations in Nigeria and the sum of $314,420,108.60 being

proceeds generated from Nigeria through private placements of MTN shares.

On the role played by both Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC in all

these, our sources noted that it is disturbing that Stanbic IBTC which

facilitated all these illegal transfers had between October, 1, 2007 and

May 31, 2009 carried out similar questionable capital repatriation through

its invincible transactions for the sum of $7,705,890,581.13 out of

Nigeria. This fraudulent transaction was made known to both Central Bank

and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) examiners when they

visited Stanbic IBTC in 2009 and 2010 but they did nothing about this huge

Standard Chartered Bank according to the petition that is said to be

giving President Jonathan sleepless nights had in its MTR202 for the

period ended May 2009, understated the balance in its Capital Importation

Inflows for which Certificate were used to the tune of $314,420,108.60

representing acquisition of MTNs link units by Nigerians for which the

Bank issued CCIs. The said inflows were classified as over the counter

transactions by IBTC.
The investors and beneficiaries of the CCIs were all nonresident in

Nigeria and resides in the following countries, Mauritius, British Virgin

Islands, Cayman Island, thus the need for Nigeria Investment Promotion

Council registration certificates. These certificates were not provided by

IBTC on request. There was no evidence that the CCI's were transferred to

IBTC by Standard Chartered Bank. Stanbic IBTC did not obtain any indemnity

from Standard Chattered Bank before transferring the said proceeds to

private placements. Stanbic IBTC did not indemnify CBN before embarking on

the forex transfer as requested by the forex manual. Moreso, the

beneficiaries of these capital repatriation proceeds communicated their

bank account details to Stanbic IBTC, same day their respective CCI's were

issued which was on February 7, 2008.
It was discovered that MTN Nigeria had transferred various sums to its

shareholders both individuals and organisations, who bought MTN shares

through its private offer. Investigation revealed that these sums in some

cases represent the actual investments into the telecom giant by these

individuals and organisations numbering about 35. They include but not

limited to the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Akiolu (203,500 units of

shares for which $5m was illegally transferred to an offshore account for

him), Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi of Fidelity Bank (203,500 units of shares for

which $5m was illegally transferred to an offshore account for him),

Governor-elect of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano (203,583 units of

shares for which $5m was illegally transferred to an offshore account for

him), Mrs Olufunke Osibodu (203,500 units of shares for which $5m was

illegally transferred to an offshore account for her) and Cherroots

Nigeria Ltd (2,035,830 units of shares for which $50m was illegally

transferred to an offshore account for it).
FUSL Nominees Ltd got $30m for its 1,221,498 units, Mr. Olusola Adeeyo got

$10m for his 407,000 units of shares, Tele SPV Ltd got $20.5m for its

834,690 units, Yoram Ltd ((407,166 units of shares for which $10m was

illegally transferred to an offshore account for it), Sterling asset Mgt

and Trust Ltd for its 407,166 units got $9,995,920.00, Mr Bismarck J.

Rewane for his 203,583 units got $5m, Mr Adebayo Olawale Edun for his

610,500 shares got $15m among others.
It was gathered from some the named shareholders that the said amounts

actually represent the value of the shares as at the time of investment

but deny receiving such funds in their accounts as payment from MTN.

According to some of them, they have received between 10 to 15 per cent

dividends from MTN in the last four to five years but denied that it

amounted to the amount captured against their names. This is one of the

many puzzles that the investigators will need to answer – how did these

figures come up against the supposed beneficiaries when in actual fact

most of them are not aware of such transfers. Who did these transfers

eventually get to?
“It is however believed that between MTN, Stanbic IBTC and CBN, these

particulars were simply used to provide for these funds to shipped by the

telecom giant out of Nigeria. If this is true, then it means that the

funds invested by these individuals and organisations were immediately

laundered out of Nigeria, and that without their knowledge. Therefore, MTN

Nigeria has been using funds generated from its Nigerian operations to

both run the network and pay dividends to supposed shareholders who are

not even aware that their funds were never used for the company but

laundered abroad,” one of our sources added.
National Daily can also authoritatively reveal that the Presidency will

also look into the role of Bureau de Change registered by Mallam Sanusi

Lamido Sanusi as they were part of this scam. The petitioner expressed

assurance that if this issues raised are adequately investigated,

Nigerians will be shocked as to the level of rot in the system,especially

how those employed to watch over the nations resources are also

colludingwith foreign interests to defraud this country by engaging in

acts ofeconomic sabotage.
Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has already distanced her

ministry from the transactions as there are no corresponding records to

Efforts to get an official reaction from the CBN, MTN and Stanbic IBTC

proved abortive. Calls text messages to CBN Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi, Mr. Ugo Okoroafor Director of CBN Corporate Communications, were

not returned. After series of calls and text messages to MTN Senior

officials, one of them responded with a call and asked that we sent a mail

to the relevant head of corporate communications for an official response,

which we promptly did. But as at the time of going to the press no

response was received.
Presidency sources told this newspaper that a thorough investigation has

been ordered into the allegations. It therefore remains to be seen how the

already embattled CBN Governor, Stanbic IBTC and MTN will exonerate

themselves from this allegations of monumental fraudulent depletion of

Nigeria's External Reserves in the light of the available documented

According to the whistle blower, our sources revealed,

Nigerians are in for a grave shock by the time this investigation is

concluded and details made public.
National Daily