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Jersey £241m seizure returned to Nigeria

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More than £241m ($300m) seized from Nigeria’s former dictator has been returned to the country from Jersey, the Reuters news agency reports.

The money was stolen by Sani Abacha in the 1990s, before it was laundered through the US and hidden in a Jersey bank account.

The sum was recovered in June 2019 from the account of shell company Doraville.

It was returned by the US following a tripartite agreement between the three nations in February.

The money is part of an estimated $5 billion stolen by the military ruler during his presidency between 1993 and his death in 1998.

As part of the repatriation Jersey will retain $5m (£3.8m) and the US is eligible for the same, the US Department of Justice said.

Jersey’s Attorney General Mark Temple QC confirmed the island had transferred $314,305,568.54 to the US on 2 March.

Infrastructure projects

The Justice Minister for Nigeria, Abubakar Malami, said the money had been moved to a recovery account held by the Central Bank of Nigeria and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority within 14 days.

The money is to be spent on infrastructure projects in the country, including the building of roads and bridges.

Mr Malami said the recovered funds “further consolidates” the government’s record on repatriating stolen money.

Swiss authorities have already returned $300m (£230m) to Nigeria as part of the seizures.

A further $30m (£23m) from Britain and $144m (£111m) from France is expected to be recovered, according to the US Department of Justice.

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