How U.S. traced Abacha loots worldwide, from New York – Chairman, NBC
How U.S traced Abacha loots worldwide, from New York – Chairman, NBC
Chairman, Nigerian Bottling Company, Segun Apata, has provided insight into how loots of former military dictator, General Sani Abacha were detected across the world by the US from its capital, the New York.
He made the revelation in Abuja on Tuesday September 11 at the International Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development.
The event was organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC.
It seeks among others to proffer ways to improve sanctions and enforcement mechanisms for perpetrators of illicit financial lows and other acts of corruption; to improve international cooperation in enhancing asset recovery and asset return.
The two-day event was the second in its series, bringing economic and other experts from across the world.
He said: “Asset recovery that we are talking about are actually proceeds of corruption that have been accessed illegally and criminally stashed and hidden in offshore. When I say offshore, I mean outside the country where those things are taken.
“One of the issues being raised, I want you to react. We go round. Let me give you an example, in 2014, the Adamu Panel was in White House, and we had robust exchange of useful hints. They disclosed to us at that time that under US law, they have the right to seize any, I repeat, any amount denominated in US dollar in any part of the world that they sincerely believe is a proceed of corruption.
“And, that was how they told us in 2014 that they froze all the $58 million traced to Abacha, because there was no legitimate way that asset can be.
“And, only part of that money was in US. They were in other jurisdictions. And, in dollar transfer, this is where some of our African countries need to take a step further. Any transfer in dollar must use SWIFT. And, SWIFT must start through New York. Not because it is only their national currency, but because of the arrangement in transfer…That is why they were able to see that.
“May time has come for Euro and Pound Sterling, for UK government and members of the European Union who use Euros as denomination, maybe China too, other major currencies in the world, I think we need to focus on that.”
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