May 9, 2022

US forfeiture order leads to $23 million money laundering recovery in the UK

The UK National Crime Agency has recovered $23,439,724, a portion of the amount allegedly misappropriated by former Nigerian president Sani Abacha.  The recovery results from a 2014 judgment entered in the US District Court for the District of Columbia following a complaint filed by the US Department of Justice.  The complaint alleges that Abacha, who headed the military government in Nigeria between 1993 and 1998, was responsible, with his son Mohammed Sani Abacha and others, for embezzling, extorting and otherwise misappropriating billions of dollars from the government of Nigeria, and laundering the fruits of their illicit conduct through US financial institutions.

The DOJ  intends to repatriate the nearly $23.5 million recovery amount for the benefit of the Nigerian people.  Over $300 million have already been transferred to the Nigerian government pursuant to a trilateral agreement between the US, the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  Altogether, the parties seek the forfeiture of over $625 million, 100 percent of which is to be returned to the people of Nigeria.

NCA press release