Swiss seize millions from late dictator's son

23rd November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss authorities order USD 350 million seized from the son of late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.

Geneva -- Swiss authorities said Friday that they had ordered some USD 350 million (CHF 353 million) of assets to be seized from the son of the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha for graft.

"The first order of the sentence issued yesterday by the examining magistrate found that Abba Abacha, born 9 November 1968, son of the late general Sani Abacha, was guilty of participation in a criminal organisation," Geneva canton's justice office said in a statement.

"The examining magistrate sentenced him to a suspended jail term, and ordered the confiscation of his assets of USD 350 million -- which is held by his criminal organisation and seized through international assistance in Luxembourg and the Bahamas."

The court was not immediately available for comment on the duration of the suspended jail sentence.

The elder Abacha, who died in June 1998, is suspected of having taken some USD 2.2 billion from the Nigerian central bank between his coming to power in November 1993 and his death over four years later.

Some USD 700 million which was stashed in Swiss banks has been returned by Switzerland to Nigerian authorities.

In Friday's statement, Geneva authorities said they have convicted a "financial intermediary who is currently domiciled in the Principality of Monaco, for having been part of the criminal organisation" run by the Abacha clan.

The person, who was not named, has been sentenced to pay an unspecified fine.

The person has also been ordered to pay the canton of Geneva CHF 10 million -- which "corresponds to illicit gains obtained from these culpable activities," added the statement.

AFP / Expatica

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