The United States government has reportedly accused a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu of smuggling an exotic car stolen from Jaguar’s UK assembly into the U.S.
This is according to a report by Peoples Gazette.
The publication further reports that following attempts to smuggle the vehicle into the U.S., a court order was issued to confiscate the car found in his possession.
The vehicle, a 2007 Jaguar XKR, was stolen from a Jaguar assembly facility in Birmingham, England.
In the complaint sheet, the car manufacturer explained that the vehicle was made for use in the Czech Republic as it did not meet the safety standards set out by the U.S.
It also told the U.S. court that the stolen XKR was shipped to Lagos.
The XKR was seized on June 15, 2011, at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. The documents said, “Kachikwu caused the defendant vehicle to be exported to the United States from Nigeria.”
A consent judgment signed by Consuelo B. Marshall for the Central District of California showed that the U.S. government maintained that the stolen car was subject to forfeiture in line with federal laws.
“United States of America (“plaintiff” or the “government”) filed a complaint for forfeiture against one 2007 Jaguar XKR. The government alleged that the vehicle was subject to forfeiture pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §§ 1595a(c)(1)(A) and 1595a(c)(2)(A),” the documents added.
However, Mr Kachikwu admitted to the forfeiture of the vehicle and agreed to pay $10,000 instead of the vehicle being confiscated.
Kachikwu also insisted that he did not partake in stealing the car.
“Claimant has acknowledged that the government had probable cause for the seizure of the defendant vehicle,” said the documents.
“The theft of the defendant vehicle from the manufacturer, as alleged in the complaint, occurred before claimant’s acquisition of the vehicle from a dealership and did not involve claimant.”
Mr Kachikwu was given two months to take the vehicle out of the U.S.
He was NNPC’s group managing director between 2015 and 2016 and the minister of state for petroleum resources between 2015 and 2019.