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United States Signs Agreement with Nigeria to Repatriate More Than $23 Million in Assets Stolen by Former Nigerian Dictator General Sani Abacha

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  The United States through the Department of Justice and the FBI seized approximately 23 million attributable to the corruption and money laundering of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his accomplices This money will be returned to the Nigerian people through an agreement between the Governments of the United States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria Nigeria signed today in Abuja Nigeria by United States Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard This repatriation will bring the total amount seized and returned by the Department of Justice in this case to approximately 334 7 million In 2014 US District Judge John D Bates for the District of Columbia issued a ruling ordering the forfeiture of approximately 500 million located in accounts around the world as a result of a civil forfeiture lawsuit of more than 625 million attributable to money laundering involving the proceeds of Abacha s corruption In 2020 the department repatriated more than 311 7 million of forfeited assets that had been located in the Bailiff of Jersey Last year the UK government enforced the US judgment against the additional 23 million This 23 million repatriation reflects the Justice Department s unwavering commitment to recovering and returning the proceeds of corruption laundered through the U S financial system said Deputy Attorney General Kenneth A Polite Jr of the Department of Justice Criminal Division of the Department of Justice The forfeited assets represent corrupt money laundered during and after the military regime of General Abacha who became Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a military coup on November 17 1993 and held that position until his death on June 8 1998 The complaint alleges that General Abacha his son Mohammed Sani Abacha his associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and others embezzled misappropriated and extorted billions from the Nigerian government and others then laundered their criminal proceeds through institutions American financial institutions and transactions in the United States states The UK s cooperation in the investigation restraint and execution of the US sentence together with the valuable contributions of Nigeria and other law enforcement partners around the world including the UK s National Crime Agency as well as those of the Office of International Affairs have been essential for the recovery of these funds Under the agreement signed today the United States will transfer 100 of net forfeited assets to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects in Nigeria that were previously authorized by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian legislature Specifically the funds governed by this agreement will help finance the Second Niger Bridge the Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja Kano highway investments that will benefit the citizens of each of these important regions of Nigeria The agreement includes key measures to ensure transparency and accountability including the administration of funds and projects by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority NSIA financial review by an independent auditor and monitoring by part of an independent civil society organization with expertise in engineering and other areas The agreement also excludes the spending of funds to benefit alleged perpetrators of corruption or to pay contingency fees for attorneys The agreement reflects the strong principles for ensuring transparency and accountability adopted at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery GFAR in December 2017 in Washington DC which the United States and the United Kingdom hosted with the support of the World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime This case was brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section working in partnership with the FBI s Washington Field Office Through the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agencies seek to safeguard the US financial system from criminal money laundering and recover the proceeds of corruption foreign officer Where appropriate and possible the department strives to use recovered proceeds of corruption to benefit individuals harmed by acts of corruption and abuse of the public trust Persons with information about potential proceeds of foreign corruption located or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or email kleptocracy usdoj gov The department is grateful for the extensive assistance provided by the governments of the UK Nigeria Jersey and France in this investigation
United States Signs Agreement with Nigeria to Repatriate More Than Million in Assets Stolen by Former Nigerian Dictator General Sani Abacha

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United States

The United States, through the Department of Justice and the FBI, seized approximately $23 million attributable to the corruption and money laundering of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his accomplices.

today's nigerian breaking news

This money will be returned to the Nigerian people through an agreement between the Governments of the United States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Nigeria) signed today in Abuja, Nigeria, by United States Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard.

today's nigerian breaking news

This repatriation will bring the total amount seized and returned by the Department of Justice in this case to approximately $334.7 million.

In 2014, US District Judge John D.

Bates for the District of Columbia issued a ruling ordering the forfeiture of approximately $500 million located in accounts around the world, as a result of a civil forfeiture lawsuit.

of more than $625 million attributable to money laundering involving the proceeds of Abacha’s corruption.

In 2020, the department repatriated more than $311.7 million of forfeited assets that had been located in the Bailiff of Jersey.

Last year, the UK government enforced the US judgment against the additional $23 million.

“This $23 million repatriation reflects the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to recovering and returning the proceeds of corruption laundered through the U.S. financial system,” said Deputy Attorney General Kenneth A.

Polite, Jr. of the Department of Justice.

Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

The forfeited assets represent corrupt money laundered during and after the military regime of General Abacha, who became Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a military coup on November 17, 1993, and held that position until his death on June 8.

1998.

The complaint alleges that General Abacha, his son Mohammed Sani Abacha, his associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and others embezzled, misappropriated, and extorted billions from the Nigerian government and others, then laundered their criminal proceeds through institutions American financial institutions and transactions in the United States.

states The UK’s cooperation in the investigation, restraint and execution of the US sentence, together with the valuable contributions of Nigeria and other law enforcement partners around the world, including the UK’s National Crime Agency, as well as those of the Office of International Affairs, have been essential for the recovery of these funds.

Under the agreement signed today, the United States will transfer 100% of net forfeited assets to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects in Nigeria that were previously authorized by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian legislature.

Specifically, the funds governed by this agreement will help finance the Second Niger Bridge, the LagosIbadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano highway, investments that will benefit the citizens of each of these important regions of Nigeria.

The agreement includes key measures to ensure transparency and accountability, including the administration of funds and projects by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), financial review by an independent auditor, and monitoring by part of an independent civil society organization with expertise in engineering and other areas.

The agreement also excludes the spending of funds to benefit alleged perpetrators of corruption or to pay contingency fees for attorneys.

The agreement reflects the strong principles for ensuring transparency and accountability adopted at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) in December 2017 in Washington, DC, which the United States and the United Kingdom hosted with the support of the World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.

and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

This case was brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section working in partnership with the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Through the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agencies seek to safeguard the US financial system from criminal money laundering and recover the proceeds of corruption.

foreign officer.

Where appropriate and possible, the department strives to use recovered proceeds of corruption to benefit individuals harmed by acts of corruption and abuse of the public trust.

Persons with information about potential proceeds of foreign corruption located or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or email [email protected]

The department is grateful for the extensive assistance provided by the governments of the UK, Nigeria, Jersey and France in this investigation.

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