The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency on Thursday said it had recovered over £23 million of funds looted by associates and family of late former Nigerian dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, in the 90s.
The funds were recovered as part of a request from the United States Department of Justice.
Curiously, UK is not returning the recovered funds to Nigeria but will instead hand them over to USA.
The statement reads: “The NCA recovered $23,439,724.98 siphoned out of Nigeria in the 1990s by the associates and family of former Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
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.
Billy Beattie, Asset Denial Senior Manager at the NCA, said: “The NCA 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 NCA case is ongoing with further monies having been identified by the USDOJ as having also been misappropriated by Abacha and his associates.”