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  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last week arrested and briefly detained Wale Babalakin, a Lagos-based businessman, on charges of facilitating money laundering by former Governor James Ibori of Delta State.
The EFCC detained Mr. Babalakin overnight last Saturday and subsequently granted him administrative bail.
A source close to suspect, a lawyer whose company owns the new wing of the Ikeja domestic airport, told SaharaReporters that Mr. Babalakin was “shaken when the EFCC came for him,” adding that the businessman quickly contacted his political sponsors to arrange his “administrative” release.
When SaharaReporters called EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, he confirmed that the anti-corruption agency arrested Mr. Babalakin and detained him
overnight at an EFCC facility.
An investigator at the EFCC told Saharareporters that Mr. Babalakin had a long association with former Governor Ibori. “He took part in money laundering runs that involved buying luxury apartments on behalf of Ibori in Florida, US.”
The source said the agency had also discovered that Mr. Babalakin used six companies to launder funds that were meant to buy a Bombardier plane for Mr. Ibori who is currently detained in London where he is facing money laundering charges.
The EFCC source as well as an associate of Mr. Babalakin told SaharaReporters that investigators had traced N1.2 billion of Ibori’s loot to Babalakin. The EFCC investigator also revealed that the agency was trying to locate another N400 million that Mr. Babalakin could not account for.
EFCC investigators are reportedly preparing to interrogate several other accomplices used by Mr. Ibori to carry out his extensive money laundering schemes. British and Nigerian law enforcement officials believe that Mr. Ibori laundered a sum that ranged between $2 and $3 billion.
Mr. Ibori's trial has commenced in London, several months after he was extradited from Dubai to face money laundering charges in the UK.
Source - Saharareporters


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