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...Britain set to return looted funds

Posted by Bukola Ojeme on 2005/08/07 | Views: 222 |

...Britain set to return looted funds


Billions of naira believed to have been stashed in British banks by corrupt Nigerian officials will be returned to the country this month, a Scotland Yard detective has said.

Billions of naira believed to have been stashed in British banks by corrupt Nigerian officials will be returned to the country this month, a Scotland Yard detective has said.

Though the exact amount involved could not be ascertained as at press time on Saturday, the money include £990,000, allegedly siphoned by one of the governors from the North-Central zone.

Sunday Punch gathered that the return of the fund is a fallout of the collaboration effort of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and detectives from Scotland Yard.

A Scotland Yard detective, Mr. Bob Igram, confirmed to Sunday Punch in Abuja, the plan by the British authorities to repatriate the funds to Nigeria.

The detective, was in Nigeria in connection with investigations into alleged money laundering offences committed by the Plateau State Governor, Chief Joshua Dariye.

He said the British authorities had identified some monies believed to have been stolen by corrupt Nigerian officials.

Igram said the authorities were only awaiting to get the permission of a British court before repatriating of the stolen funds by the middle of the month.

“I just want to say that I cannot divulge the identity of the corrupt officials. But there is an action taking place in London as we speak and in the middle of August, there is a court action to repatriate some money to Nigeria. Sorry, I would not like to talk about how much is involved,” Igram said.

He said Britain would no longer allow corrupt Nigerian officials to bank their loot in British banks.

“I would like to send a message to the criminal minds; those involved in fraud, counterfeiting and in fact some government officials that we will to ensure that they are brought to justice. We will take every asset they have acquired illegally and ensure they are returned to Nigeria,” he said.

The detective added that the money soon to be returned to Nigeria was the result of painstaking investigations between Scotland Yard and the EFCC.

“In the past 18 months, we have being dealing with the EFCC in the fight against corruption and money laundering.

“The expertise of the EFCC has also benefited our enquiry. And Scotland Yard have learnt a lot from working with the EFCC. I would like to salute President Olusegun Obasanjo for his foresight in setting up such an effective unit as EFCC,” he said.

Igram added: “I can tell that Nigerian law enforcement, particularly EFCC, are amongst the finest investigators we have come across and I really duff my hat for them.”

A source in the EFCC, however, told Sunday Punch that the money to be repatriated includes £990,000 confiscated from the bank accounts of a Governor from the North-Central zone of the country.

Contacted, the Head Media and Publicity, Mr. Osita Nwajah, confirmed the planned repatriation of the stolen funds, but declined to give details of the owners and amount involved.

“EFCC is the primary agency they are working with on money laundering, but I cannot confirm the final details,” he said.

SUNDAY PUNCH, August 07, 2005

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.