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UK seizes fresh £211m Abacha ‘loot’

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The British crown dependency of Jersey has seized £211 million said to have been laundered from Nigeria by former head of state Sani Abacha.

UK’s Metro is reporting that Abacha had stashed the money in accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.

It was said to have been laundered through the US into the Channel Islands, while he was in office.

“The money is now being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria come to an agreement on how it should be distributed,” the report said.

Jersey had in 2014, secured a restraining order from the court on the bank account, following a request by the US.

Doraville went to court to challenge the order in 2016 but failed at various times, up to the privy council – Jersey’s ultimate appellate court.

Robert MacRae, Jersey’s attorney general, was quoted as saying: “In restraining the funds at the request of the United States of America, through whose banking system the funds were laundered prior to arriving here … Jersey has once again demonstrated its commitment to tackling international financial crime and money laundering.”

This is the latest of the public funds discovered to have been stashed in international banks by the late military head of state who held sway between 1993 and 1998.

At least $322 million is said to have so far been recovered as funds looted by Abacha.

Last year, the house of representatives began a probe into the recovery of the loot by the late Nigerian leader.

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