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S’Africa seizes Alamieyeseigha’s $2m property

Posted by Yemi Ajayi with agency report on 2006/02/21 | Views: 665 |

S’Africa seizes Alamieyeseigha’s $2m property


South Africa has seized a luxury flat in that country located on the Waterfront Marina. The property belonged to the embattled former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

South Africa has seized a luxury flat in that country located on the Waterfront Marina. The property belonged to the embattled former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

South Africa’s Asset Forfeiture Unit took control of the property in Cape Town from Alamieyeseigha after Justice Dennis Davis of the Cape High Court authorised the seizure.

Alamieyeseigha, who was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport on September 15, 2005 by the Metropolitan Police, was arraigned for money laundering charges.

He, however, jumped bail and escaped to Nigeria.

The former governor, who is now facing a 40-count charge for money laundering in Nigeria following removal from office by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, is currently in custody, awaiting trial for stealing $55million in public funds. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to a report from the South African media on Tuesday, the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the South African National Prosecuting Authority obtained the order for the seizure of the Cape Town luxury flat estimated at R10.5 million ($2.3million).

The unit also secured the forfeiture of the content of the luxury flat, including furniture worth about R1.5million ($250,000).

Besides, the unit is pushing for the forfeiture of Alamieyeseigha’s $31,666 held in trust fund, share certificates held in the name of Royal Alpha Properties and R190, 000 in rental income.

The court appointed the Director of Forensics at Sonnenberg Hoffman and Galombik, Mr. Steven Powell, as curator to take care of Alamieyeseigha’s assets until the litigation is completed.

“The State will attempt to liquidate the property worth about R10.5 million and repatriate the funds in an attempt at foreign cooperation,” Powell said.

The Head of South Africa’s asset forfeiture unit, Mr. Willie Hofmeyr, said on Tuesday in Johannesburg that his unit and Nigerian law enforcement officials had collaborated to recover funds allegedly stolen by Alamieyeseigha and invested in South Africa.

“This was the biggest case that South African and foreign authorities had cooperated on and it showed that asset forfeiture helped combat corruption internationally,” Hofmeyr said.

He said the action in South Africa was an example of how the benefits of asset forfeiture could be used to help victim states get their money back.

THE PUNCH, Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.