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11 years later and Sani Abacha's billions still being recovered

Last Updated: 1/17/2010 2:38:22 PM

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Nigeria's late dictator Sani Abacha looted billions of dollars from the country, so complex was the operation 11 years later investigators are still unravelling the fraud he perpetuated. ....

Abacha billions still being recovered
Abacha billions still being recovered

The unravelling of the looting of Nigeria's economy by the late dictator Sani Abacha continues as Swiss authorities convict Abba Abacha, one of the general's sons, for participation in a criminal organisation and seized $350 million from him.

The examining magistrate in the Swiss canton of Geneva sentenced Abba to a suspended jail term and ordered the confiscation of his assets worth $350 million which are held in what was dubbed a "criminal organisation" and spread across Luxembourg and the Bahamas.

General Abacha, who died in June 1998, is suspected of having siphoned over $3 billion from Nigerian in the space of four-and-a-half years in which he ruled. Over $700 million of his loot, which was stashed in Swiss banks, have since been returned by Switzerland to Nigerian authorities, but billions still remain unrecovered.

Abacha used a circle of family members, close aides and business associates to launder the money with the active connivance of many international banks.

In 2002 The Swiss Banking Commission chairman Kurt Hauri stated that the fact that significant assets of dubious origin, from people close to former Nigerian President Sani Abacha, were deposited at Swiss banks is highly unsatisfactory and damaged the image of Switzerland as a financial centre, the commission said that almost a third of the Abacha money deposited with Swiss banks had first been banked in the UK, United States and Austria.


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