The United Kingdom has announced the recovery of $23.4 million looted by the former Nigerian military dictator, late General Sani Abacha, and his family.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) made this known in a statement published on its website on Thursday.
It is understood that Nigeria is still receiving funds looted by the former dictator and his associates, years after his stay in government.
According to the agency, the monies were recovered after nearly seven years of legal proceedings and international negotiations following a request for recovery.
The agency disclosed that the funds were taken out of Nigeria by the late Abacha with the help of his immediate family and associates.
According to the NCA, the Abacha loot was identified by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) and has been transferred to the home office for onward transmission to the USDOJ.
Reacting to the development, NCA Asset Denial Senior Manager, Billy Beattie, said the agency will continue to ensure that criminals are not allowed to keep their loot in the UK.
Beattie stressed that the civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in the fight against money laundering and corruption in general.
She said: “The NCA is committed to ensuring that the UK is not a safe haven for criminals to launder their proceeds of crime, and the civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in this fight,” Beattie said.
“We work closely with the UK and international partners to tackle the threat posed by corruption, which disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
“We are committed to ensuring that those who perpetuate corruption do not benefit from their actions.”