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Praise for Jersey on Nigeria 'billions'

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THE Jersey authorities have achieved international recognition for their part in returning US$170 million stolen from the Nigerian government.

As reported earlier, the funds were deposited in nine financial institutions in Jersey by friends and associates of former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha .

The investigation in the Island - which is still continuing - was instigated more than three years ago by the Attorney General, William Bailhache, QC.

It was followed up by a team of lawyers in Jersey and London, the States Police Joint Financial Crimes Unit and the Jersey Financial Services Commission.The $170 million is part of an estimated $2 billion looted from the Nigerian Central Bank since 1994, when General Abacha claimed power.

Jersey is one of a handful of jurisdictions to succeed in handing back the proceeds of assorted crimes.ArrestedHowever, Jersey's Attorney General also went a step further in pursuing one of the alleged thieves, former government minister and businessman Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who was arrested in Texas.

The evidence gathered by the Attorney General and his team is to be forward to the Nigerian Attorney General, who has provided his written assurance that he will examine the evidence and take a decision on whether to prosecute.

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