Abacha’s Loot: We are ready to return $380 million – Switzerland

Abacha’s Loot: We are ready to return $380 million – Switzerland

Geneva’s public prosecutor has said that
Switzerland will return to Nigeria about $380 million linked to the former military leader, late General Sani Abacha.

The decision to return the funds followed
a July 2014 deal between Nigeria and the
Abacha family.

Under the agreement, the funds would be
confiscated and returned to Nigeria, while
the Federal Government would drop its
case against the deceased dictator’s son,
Abba Abacha.

Geneva prosecutors’ office said in a
statement that the $380 million had been
placed in several accounts abroad that
were controlled by the Abacha family,
which is considered a criminal
organisation.

The money was seized in 2006 in
Luxembourg, under orders from the Swiss
authorities.
The Abacha family had also placed some
$500 million in Swiss banks, though those
funds had already been returned to Nigeria.

The $380 million will be returned under the World Bank’s supervision, said the
prosecutor’s office.

The authorities have also decided to drop
their case against Abba Abacha, which
began in 1999.

In 2012, the dictator’s son was handed a
one-year suspended prison sentence for
participating in a criminal organisation.

Switzerland’s top court cancelled the
sentence in May 2014, citing procedural
reasons.

The Geneva prosecutor’s office on Tuesday
said Abba Abacha had already been
detained for 561 days from 2004 to 2006,
without receiving compensation.

The Abacha affair began in 1999 when
Nigeria asked the Swiss judicial authorities
to help it recover $2.2 billion.

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