$300 million of laundered money held in Jersey bank accounts to be sent back to Africa

MORE than US$300 million laundered by a Nigerian dictator and held in Jersey bank accounts is to be repatriated to the African state following a landmark agreement.

General Sani Abacha
General Sani Abacha

The funds were stolen from the Nigerian public by General Sani Abacha and his friends and associates when he was head of state between 1993 and 1998.

The money was laundered through the United States banking system and held in accounts in Jersey in the name of Doraville Properties Corporation.

Jersey, Nigeria and the USA has this week entered into an asset recovery agreement to send the funds back to Nigeria.

The projects which will benefit from the funds will be administered by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and independently audited.

The Solicitor General and Attorney General-designate of Jersey, Mark Temple QC, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Island, said: 'This agreement represents the culmination of two decades of intensive work by law officers in Jersey, the United States and Nigeria.

'The return of the assets to Nigeria had been delayed by a number of hard-fought challenges by third parties which were defeated in the courts in Jersey and the United States.

'The agreement establishes a framework based on fruitful co-operation, trust and respect so that the forfeited funds can be repatriated to benefit the people of Nigeria, from whom they had been taken. The use of the funds will be subject to monitoring and reporting obligations.

'This is a very significant achievement, and, once again, demonstrates Jersey’s commitment to tackling international financial crime and money laundering.'

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