Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

Abacha Stolen Wealth Help us to Improve our Rules, Swiss Government

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August 7, 2012

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—We Have Returned 500 Million Dollars Abacha Loot to Nigeria

Switzerland has said it has returned about 500 million dollars (about N80 billion) of the Nigeria’s stolen money stashed away in its country by the late maximum military ruler, General Sani Abacha.

Outgoing Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Andreas Baum, stated this in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday.

The ambassador, who assumed duty in Nigeria in 2008 and leaves the country this month, said the funds were repatriated to Nigeria during the time of his predecessor. Baum, however, said state fund looted by one of Abacha’s son was yet to be released to Nigeria as discussion on it was still ongoing.

The ambassador added that the Swiss authorities had institutionalized measures to safeguard its financial system from transfer of stolen wealth from Nigeria. He disclosed that his country’s financial system had improved since the controversy surrounding Abacha loot became public knowledge.

“The Nigerian case is very important to us because the Abacha case helped us to improve our laws. We have put in place measures to ensure that the Swiss financial system is not abused with the transfer of such assets.

“It is an area we have put a lot of work in. We realised that there was a problem. The measures we have taken will prevent transfer of stolen wealth to our country. “We have returned around 500 million dollars of the Abacha loot to Nigeria. That was done during the time of my predecessor. But there is still one ongoing case involving the son of Abacha,” he said.

The envoy, who described bilateral relations between the two countries as excellent, nonetheless, bemoaned the low volume of trade between the countries, which, he said currently stood at 500 million dollars. He attributed the low bilateral trade volume to “informal and unaccounted trade.”

According to him, this is because a lot of Swiss products, mainly oil and pharmaceuticals, come into Nigeria through other countries.“Some Swiss products come into Nigeria through the Netherlands; so it is sometimes difficult to have an accurate account of trade volume,” he added.

Source: Tribune Newspapers

 

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  1. Krysten Billett
    August 9, 2012 at 4:46 am

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