Thursday, 6 March 2014
US Freezes $458m Loot Hidden By Former Nigerian Leader Sani Abacha
About $313 million was restrained in bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey and $145 million was restrained in bank accounts in France, the US justice department said in a statement. The department said it was pursuing additional holdings in the United Kingdom with an expected value of at least $100 million, but that the exact amount would be determined later. Abacha died in 1998 at age 54. Nigeria has for years been fighting to recover his money, but companies linked to the Abacha family have gone to court to prevent repatriation. The former military dictator looted between $3 billion and $5 billion of public money during his five years ruling Africa's top oil producer from 1993 to 1998, according to Transparency International. The assets were held in banks including Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC and Banque SBA, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also seeks the forfeiture of five corporate entities registered in the British Virgin Islands. Telegraph UK.