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U.S. Freezes More Than $500 Million Abacha Stolen Loots

Sani Abacha

United States of America has frozen over $500 million of dollars and seized several properties belonging to the former Nigerian Dictator General Sani Abacha.

Sani Abacha

Sani Abacha

In a document made available to African Examiner, Gen. Abacha, his son Mohammed Sani, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and former Nigerian Finance minister Anthony Ani conspired to loot Nigeria money using phony companies.

Their criminal operations were divided into 3 schemes namely: the Security Votes Fraud, the Debt Buy-Back Fraud, and the Extortion fraud.

Part of the document reads:

“This is an action in rem to forfeit corporate entities and more than $500 million in other assets involved in an international conspiracy to launder proceeds of corruption in Nigeria during the military regime of General General his son Mohammed Sani Abacha, their associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and others embezzled, misappropriated, defrauded, and extorted hundreds of millions of dollars from the government of Nigeria and others, including through the three criminal schemes described herein.

“They then transported and laundered the proceeds of those crimes through conduct in and affecting the United States.

“The defendants in rem are subject to forfeiture as property involved in money laundering offenses in violation of U.S. law.

“As alleged herein, in one scheme, General Abacha, together with Mohammed Sani Abacha, Bagudu, and others, systematically embezzled public funds worth billions of dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the false pretense that the funds were necessary for national security.

“After causing the CBN to disperse the funds, often in cash, General Abacha and Bagudu then moved the funds overseas, including through U.S. financial institutions (the “Security Votes Fraud”).

In another scheme, General Abacha and his finance minister, Anthony Ani, caused the government of Nigeria to purchase non-performing government debt from a company controlled by Bagudu and Mohammed Abacha at vastly inflated prices, generating a windfall of over $282 million for Mohammed Abacha and Bagudu through U.S. financial transactions (the “Debt Buy-Back Fraud”).

Finally, in the third scheme alleged herein, General Abacha and his associates extorted more than million from a French company and its Nigerian affiliate in connection with payments on government contracts (the Extortion”).

“Proceeds of the Security Votes Fraud were transported into and out of the United States in violation of U.S. law and pooled into bank accounts in London, where they were used to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. dollar-denominated Nigerian bonds.

“The bonds generated tens of millions of dollars in interest paid through Citibank in New York and guaranteed by the United States; in effect the conspirators lent money stolen from Nigeria back to Nigeria with zero risk and at enormous profit.

“By 2007, the bonds were liquidated, and the proceeds from the sale of the bonds, together with the proceeds of the Debt Buy-Back Fraud and Extortion, were deposited into the defendant accounts, using the defendant corporate entities and through U.S. financial transactions, as described herein. The defendant corporate entities are registered in the British Virgin Islands, and bank accounts and investment firms holding the other defendant assets are located in the United Kingdom, France, and the Bailiwick of Jersey.”



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