The private jet of the Nigerian president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is registered in the Cayman Islands, one of the places that have come under criticism for allegations of money laundering.
The WikkiTimes investigation shows that the Dassault Falcon 900DX with registration number VP-CBT which brought Tinubu to the country on Monday, April 24 was neither registered in France where it was manufactured, nor in Nigeria, but in the tax haven notorious as a destination for illicit financial flow.
Cayman Islands, a self-governing British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea is a major world offshore financial centre where wealthy individuals and corrupt politicians hide their fortunes to avoid paying taxes.
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For identification, every aircraft bears a registration number associated with the country from where it is registered.
Aircraft registered under the Nigeria flag only bear registration numbers from 5N-AAA to 5N-ZZZ, while those registered in the Cayman Islands are assigned the identification numbers from VP-CAA to VP-CZZ.
For instance, the Nigerian Airforce with which President Buhari recently travelled to Saudi Arabia and Ghana was registered as 5N-FGS.
Other aircraft in the presidential fleet are 5N-FG1, 5N-FG2, 5N-FGE, 5N-FGS, 5N-FGT, 5N-FGU, 5N-FGV, 5N-FGW and 5N-FGZ.
Similarly, the Bombardier CL -600-B16 Challenger owned by businessmen Aliko Dangote and Sam Iwajoku was registered under Nigerian flag: 5N-EXS, while Mike Adenuga’s Gulfstream was registered as N131LK.
The ‘N’ indicates that the airplanes were registered in Nigeria.
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WikkiTimes further ran checks on several open source tools that help collect information about aircraft and flight history such as Flight Rader 24 and Flight Aware, Jetphotos, ADBS Exchange Radar Box, none of them displays data on Tinubu private jet.
The Cayman Islands has featured in several Anti Money Laundry prosecutions in the United States and worldwide because of its attractiveness to those seeking to evade taxes in their home country.
Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of Panama paper scandal has a link to the Cayman Islands. In fact, over a hundred offshore companies set up by the Panamanian law firm were located in Cayman Islands.
In 2022, the EU blacklisted the Cayman Islands for continuing to be a destination for money laundering, considered a threat to the EU’s financial system.
PM News, a newspaper published by Bayo Onanuga spokesman for Tinubu’s campaign, also reported that Tinubu’s aircraft was registered in Cayman Island.
WikkiTime contacted Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, for comment, but he is yet to respond.