UK recovers late Sani Abacha’s $23.4 million loot

The National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom (NCA) says it has recovered $23,439,724.98 (N9,743,659,276.9362) siphoned out of Nigeria in the 1990s by the associates and family of former Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

The NCA said in a statement that for several years, it collaborated with the United States Government to ensure the forfeiture of the monies.

“The funds form part of a larger pool of monies identified by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) as having been misappropriated by Abacha and his associates.

“Acting on a request from the USDOJ, the NCA pursued nearly seven years of protracted litigation and international negotiation to obtain the recovery order, to enforce the US forfeiture order relating to the recovered monies.

“The funds have now been transferred to the Home Office for onward transmission to the USDOJ”, the NCA said in a statement published on its website.

Billy Beattie, Asset Denial Senior Manager at the NCA, said that the agency is committed to ensuring that the UK is not a safe haven for criminals to launder their proceeds of crime and civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in this fight.

“We work closely with UK and international partners to tackle the threat posed by corruption, which disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. We are committed to ensuring that those who perpetuate corruption do not benefit from their actions”, the agency said, adding that other monies laundered by the Abacha family are still being investigated.

The federal government had on May 4, 2020 confirmed the receipt of approximately three hundred and eleven million, seven hundred and ninety-seven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-six dollars and eleven cents ($311,797,866.11) of the Abacha assets repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

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