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Friday, 1 September 2017

22 Nigerian 'Big Men' In Trouble Over Assets In Dubai


Anti-corruption body, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has acquired full list of names and other information of Nigerians who have questionable properties in the UAE. The Commission received a database of assets which are suspected to have been acquired with looted funds by former and others close to political power.

The Nation reports that the EFCC is presently analysing the data and funds linked to those under probe may be seized.

The Commission has also placed over 22 politically exposed persons and businessmen in Dubai under watch as a result of the information it has received.

An unnamed EFCC source said: “In line with its Beneficial Ownership laws, we have already a database of Nigerians with assets in the United Arab Emirates, including properties of some high-profile Nigerians under investigation.

“We are already studying the database in line with our ongoing investigation and profiling. We have a long list of some politically exposed persons and businessmen under probe.

“The signing of the agreements between Nigeria and the UAE by President Muhammadu Buhari last week has opened a robust vista which will hasten our identification and attachment of the suspicious assets.

“It is time to set out for work. You will recall that over N1.34 trillion was stolen by public officers in seven years. We will trace some of these funds and the assets acquired with them in UAE.”

The source added: “We will not release the list now but already we have initiated action on some suspects.

“Actually, there is no hiding place for any looter from Nigeria in UAE again. In May 2016 at the Anti-corruption Summit in London, the UAE joined the league of 29 nations which will share where lists of beneficial owners.

“The UAE has also strengthened its anti-money laundering (‘AML’) regulations. Therefore, the environment is conducive now to track the suspects on our radar.

“The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) also operates a commercial register where you can easily identify companies and investors in UAE.”

This report comes just days after President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, August 24, signed instruments of ratification for a number of bilateral agreements strengthening the government’s anti-corruption fight.

We gathered that the ratification which is an important step, is in line with the delivery of President Buhari’s anti-corruption economic diversification vision.

The agreements signed by the president covered anti-corruption, tax administration and intellectual property protection.