Britain to help Nigeria recover looted funds
LAGOS, Feb 3 (AFP) - Britain has promised to help its former colony Nigeria recover some 30 million pounds (43.5 million euros, 57 million dollars) stolen during the regime of late dictator Sani Abacha, officials said Thursday.
The oil-rich west African country has asked for help in tracing looted assets in Germany, Britain, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, Liechtenstein and
"The British government is in the process of
returning 30 million pounds traced to the Abacha
family," Britain's visiting minister for Africa, Chris
Mullin, told reporters on Wednesday. Switzerlands ambassador to Nigeria said late last
month that his government planned to return 500 million dollars believed to have been stolen by Abacha, and which remained stashed in Swiss banks.
Several bank accounts in the names of the Abacha family holding a total of 680 million dollars have been frozen in Switzerland, from which several hundred
million dollars had been returned to Nigeria in 2000.
Mullin confirmed that the Swiss funds would soon be returned, and that "another 110 million dollars said to be in another country will soon be released to the
The British ministers said his country was willing to assist its former colony in recovering the loot so that Nigeria can use the money for the benefits of its
population of more than 130 million people.
"Nigeria must beam the searchlight on key cases. Once we have the fact, we will simply wade in to verify all the facts. And if the facts are authenticated, then we will try to ensure that the
funds are returned," he added.
Abacha is suspected of having looted 2.2 billion dollars in public funds when he ruled Africa's most populous nation from November 1993 until his death in