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One week after Abacha is honoured for his "contributions to Nigeria”, U.S. Department of Justice freezes $458m of his assets
| March 06, 2014
In what it described as " the largest civil forfeiture action to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption" the United States Department of Justice has ordered a freeze on $458m in stolen assets hidden in bank accounts around the world by Gen. Sani Abacha and his accomplices. The freezing of the assets is coming less than one week after President Goodluck Jonathan honoured Gen. Sani Abacha, with a centenary award for âhis contributions to the nation". This action was included in a civil forfeiture complaint that was unsealed in a US District Court which said that the U.S wants to recover over $550m from Abacha and his accomplices. The complaint alleges that Gen. Sani Abacha; his son, Mohammed Sani Abacha; an associate, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and others âembezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria and others, then laundered their criminal proceeds through the purchase of bonds backed by the United States using US financial institutions.â Describing Gen. Sani Abacha as "one of the most notorious kleptocrats in memory, who embezzled billions from the people of Nigeria while millions lived in poverty". The U.S Justice Department said âThis is the largest civil forfeiture action to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption ever brought by the department. Through our kleptocracy Initiative, we are seizing the assets of foreign leaders who steal funds that properly belong to the citizens they serve. Todayâs (yesterdayâs) action sends a clear message: we are determined and equipped to confiscate the ill-gotten riches of corrupt leaders who drain the resources of their countries. âWe will not let the U.S. banking system be a tool for dictators to hide their criminal proceeds. This action demonstrates the FBIâs ability to combat international corruption and money laundering by seizing the assets of those involved. I want to thank the special agents, financial analysts and prosecutors whose hard work over the years resulted in todayâs announcement.â The funds frozen include approximately $313m in two bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey, $145m in two bank accounts in France and five corporate entities registered in the British Virgin Islands.

(2) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Accra, GHANA    March 18, 2014
Mr. Abacha is dead. Whether his assets are frozen or melted, it has no effect on him. What about the living kleptomaniacs in our midst today: The Babangidas, Obasanjos, etc?
God save Nigeria.
Concerned Patriot    ,     March 14, 2014
What happens to the frozen funds? no where was it mentioned being returned back to Nigeria and Nigerians
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