Monday, 18 September 2017

EFCC Recovers Diezani’s Assets In Dubai, Discovers $1.5billion Lodged In Swiss Bank

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has initiated steps to recover two mansions allegedly purchased in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) by former petroleum minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke with the proceeds of corruption.

The anti-graft agency is reportedly acting under the framework of the agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters (recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth) between Nigeria and the UAE signed in January 2016.

Operatives of the agency were said to have gained access to the mansions worth about 74million Dirham and located in E146 Emirates Hill and J5 Emirates Hill in Dubai ahead of commencing a forfeiture process.

A source within the commission who spoke to newsmen is quoted to have said, “Apart from the database made available to us by the UAE, there is no hiding place for Diezani, her associates and all the Politically Exposed Persons( PEPs) because the UAE has a Beneficial Ownership policy which will give details of those with assets, even if they are bought through proxies.”

The anti-graft agency has also reportedly traced the sum of about $1.5 billion believed to be proceeds of crime to a Swiss account in the course of its probe of the former minister.

The sum which is believed to have been earned from the illegal sale of Nigeria’s crude oil was allegedly channelled through the United States by the former oil minister and four of her business associates.

The EFCC source also claimed that 4 detectives left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Friday with more clues on Mrs Alison-Madueke’s alleged loot.

“Our investigation confirmed that the account was used to disburse the slush funds to make exotic purchases and acquire properties in Nigeria and other parts of the world,” the source was quoted by The Nation.

He reportedly added: “The US Department of Justice through its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is already seeking to recover $144m in assets from some Diezani associates.”

The reported dispatch of EFCC detectives to the UK to help with investigations would make the second of such deployments this year.

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