Channel Island seizes another £211m Abacha’s loot

Just over a year after Switzerland refunded $322.5 million looted by Nigeria’s former dictator, General Sani Abacha, Channel Island has again seized £211,000,000 deposited into one of its banks by the late dictator.

A timeline of recoveries of Abacha loot since 2002 according to BBC showed that in May 2002, former President Obasanjo struck a deal with the ex-dictator’s family for the country to recover $1.2 billion.

In November 2003, then Finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that Nigeria had recovered $149 million from Jersey; in September 2005 she again announced at a meeting in Switzerland that government got $458 million in cash and assets worth $2 billion.

Also in 2007, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman said the government had then recovered up to $2.5 billion, which was given to ministries of Power, Works, Health, Education, and Water Resources to execute capital projects.

In June 2014, Liechtenstein returned yet another $227 million to Nigeria, with United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announcing on August 7 of the same year, the largest recovery yet of another $480 million returned to the Federal Government.

In 2016, Switzerland confirmed it had so far returned $723 million to Nigeria of the money seized from the Abacha family before the $321 million returned in April 2018.

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According to a report by online newspaper Metro on Monday, Abacha had laundered the said money through the US into the Channel Islands, a group of British dependency island, putting the money in accounts held in Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands and managed by a British Virgin Islands company, Doraville Properties Corporation.

Authorities in the islands, the report says, are willing to come to an agreement with the United States and Nigeria on how it should be distributed.

In 2014, at the request of US authorities, the Island’s Attorney General, Robert MacRae, applied for and was granted a restraining order by the Royal Court over the Jersey bank account balance of Doraville.

Mr MacRae said that in restraining the funds “Jersey has once again demonstrated its commitment to tackling international financial crime and money laundering.”

After a legal challenge by Doraville, the Privy Council, Jersey’s ultimate appellate court, in February 2018, quashed the company’s appeal to be granted access to the money.

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