Switzerland returns $321m Abacha loot

Switzerland returns $321m Abacha loot – NewZimbabwe 08/03/2016

ABUJA: Nigeria and Switzerland on Tuesday announced an agreement to return $321m in public funds stolen by the former military ruler Sani Abacha.

The agreement came after a meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and a Swiss delegation including the country’s foreign minister and ambassador.Both countries said the “letter of intent” to return the money provided a framework to help recover other looted funds by corrupt officials and to determine how it would be spent once repatriated.

“We guarantee that recovered assets would be put to uses for which they have been intended,” Osinbajo said in an emailed statement.

“The framework will guarantee that returned assets will be used in the interest of the people of this country.”

Abacha, in power from 1993 until his death in 1998, is suspected of having siphoned off $2.2bn from Nigeria’s central bank in what the United States has called “brazen acts of kleptocracy”.

The head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter, said Switzerland was the first country to have returned a share of Abacha’s ill-gotten wealth.

Ten years ago, some $720m was returned to Nigeria, he said in a statement on the Swiss foreign affairs website.

The $321m was initially deposited in Luxembourg but confiscated by a court in Geneva in December 2014.

Burkhalter said the fight against corruption was “one of Switzerland’s priorities” and the letter of intent “confirmed the principle of returning stolen assets monitored by the World Bank.

“This monitoring is a legal requirement to ensure that the funds can indeed be returned to Nigeria and used, as set out in the agreement, to support social programmes to assist the people of Nigeria,” he added.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has begun a purge of corruption since taking office last year and vowed to recover what he said were “mind-boggling” sums of money stolen over decades.


  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 6 years ago

    Swiss banks….

    What about the interest on $321 million x 17 years….?

  • comment-avatar
    mark longhurst 6 years ago

    what about sending us the money bob has been stealing for 35 years

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    Holy Maduha Ncube 6 years ago

    The same must also be done with all the money from the Reserve bank, the Diamonds in Marange, stolen farms and cash that Mgabe robbed of the people of this country. Even if its stashed in the far east we want the stolen money back. At Independence this swine Mgabe did not have a teaspoon to his name. Now he is a billionaire from looting the country dry. Him and his henchmen..We shall get everything back from this thieving monster Mgabe and his prostitute Grace Goreraza Mgabe… the loose woman of many husbands and boyfriends..

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    AMINA 6 years ago

    In as much as it will signal some capital flight from Swiss bank to other safer haven for looted funds, its a good sign that dictators like Mugabe and wife have no safety of hiding their looted diamond funds. They can only spend so far and not beyond their grave.

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    harper 6 years ago

    Sadly for us the vast amounts of our money stolen during the first ten years after independence was lost in the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and thus unrecoverable.

  • comment-avatar

    We will do an audit and take their ill gotten loot. 9 billion dollars from Mujuru. That family did not do a days worth of legitimate work and they have assets of 9 billion. Oh yes!!!!