‘Mystery Man Who Foreclosed $50.9m Billionaires’ Row Penthouse Revealed As A Nigerian

Nigerian playboy Kola Aluko is the owner of the 79th-floor penthouse at the One57 tower on “Billionaires’ Row” — it’s a swanky pad that could become the biggest residential foreclosure in New York history, New York Post reports. 


The 48-year-old energy tycoon hasn’t been paying his bills on the $50.9m luxury condo, and a European bank is forcing a sale next month. 

The Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland, which issued a $35.3m mortgage on the 6,240-square-foot spread at 157 E. 57th St., has listed as collateral Aluko’s 213-foot yacht, the Galactica Star, and is looking to collect what it’s owed plus interest, court documents show. 

On top of the unpaid mortgage that came due last fall, Aluko also has been racking up maintenance fees and taxes on the property. He has not been seen for some time, prompting speculation that he is hiding out on the Galactica Star. 

The boat — which Aluko rented to Jay Z and Beyoncé in 2015 for $900,000 a week — was last registered in Freeport, the Bahamas, on May 3, but is currently “out of range,” yacht trackers said. 

Lately, Aluko has been dodging Nigerian authorities, who in February tried to freeze his assets including the apartment as part of a money-laundering probe. 

Aluko was among those who allegedly obtained lucrative contracts from Nigeria’s former oil minister, Diezani, who has also been accused in a $1.76bn scheme to defraud the government of oil sale profits.

The alleged plot may have parked the money in assets around the world, including jets, automobiles and pricey real estates. Aluko has been busy flipping many of the expensive properties he’s bought. In Montecito, Calif., Gwyneth Paltrow paid Aluko an undermarket $4.9m for a 2.4-acre estate. 

In 2012, Aluko paid $14.7m for an 11,478-square-foot manse in Beverly Hills and sold it for just $13m in 2016. 

More recently, a shell company controlled by Aluko has been trying to unload an apartment at 1049 Fifth Ave., which it bought for $8.5m in 2013. The apartment has liens on it of more than $20k, and it owes $61k in taxes to the city as of July 1.

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