6 March 2014

Nigeria: U.S. Freezes U.S.$458 MIllion of Abacha Loot

The United States Justice Department yesterday moved to seize more than half a billion dollars of alleged corrupt proceeds from former a former Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha and his associates, in what officials called the largest such action in US history.

In a court filing unsealed yesterday in a federal court in Washington, D.C., and obtained from the US Justice Department website , government lawyers said the US has already frozen more than $458 million in bank accounts around the world, and seeks to recover at least $100 million more.

The US government has moved to freeze $313 million in accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey and $145 million in accounts in France. There are also investment portfolios and bank accounts in the United Kingdom worth at least $100 million that the US has targeted, the official said.

Under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the Justice Department seeks to seize the proceeds of foreign officials' corruption and return the money to the harmed countries.

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