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Friday, 8 August 2014

Abacha loot: US to return $480million to Nigeria

The U.S has taken control of $480million which is part of money stolen by former military dictator General Sani Abacha, after a court ruling in D.C on Wednesday August 6th. The U.S Department of Justice will now hand over the stolen money to Nigerian government, U.S government spokesman said yesterday.

According to court documents, late General Abacha, his son Mohammed Sani Abacha, their associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and others embezzled, misappropriated, extorted money from the Nigerian government and stashed them in various banks across the world. Continue...

During investigations, $303 million was found in two bank accounts operated by Abacha and his cronies in the British offshore center of Jersey while $144 million was also found in 2 bank accounts they operated in France. Continue...
They also operated three accounts in the UK and Ireland which had at least $27m. Investigations are still being carried out on claims to another $148 million in four investment portfolios in the UK.

Prosecutors say they laundered funds by buying bonds backed by the United States using U.S. financial institutions including banks such as the Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holding Plc and Banque SBA. 

Assistant Attorney General, Leslie Caldwell said in the statement “Rather than serve his county, General Abacha used his public office in Nigeria to loot millions of dollars, engaging in brazen acts of kleptocracy".

In June 2014, after a 16 year court battle, Nigeria was able to recover  $228 million stolen by Abacha and his associates and deposited in Liechtenstein.

Source: Linda Ikeji

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