Looted money returned ‘with strings attached’

Some £250 million of cash stolen from Nigeria by former military dictator Sani Abacha has been returned by banks in the US and Jersey. The money returns with one proviso – that it is spent on the public good. The Nigeria government, who refer to the monies as ‘Abacha Loot 3’, has pledged to use the money to build roads.

The money was first laundered through the US banking system before being held in Jersey by the Doraville Properties Corporation. This company is registered in the British Virgin Islands and is held in the name of Abacha’s son, Mohammed.

The laundering operation includes financial institutions in France, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Luxembourg.

So far, the Nigeria government has recouped £1.6bn of the estimated £4bn stolen.

The reason for the conditions is because when Switzerland returned £400 million of stolen money in 2017 most of it reportedly ‘disappeared’.

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