The sum of £211,000,000 (N81.9bn) has been seized from a Jersey bank account that belonged to a former Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha. Abacha was a Nigerian army officer and de facto president between 1993 until his death in 1998.
He laundered money through the US into the Channel Islands and now that money has been recovered.
The UK Metro is reporting that the money was put in accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.
The Newspaper said the money was now being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria come to an agreement on how it should be distributed.
Any money that Jersey does keep will be put into the Criminal Confiscation Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of projects. In the past, the fund had been used for the new police station and developments at La Moye Prison.
It is expected that even more money held by Doraville is likely to be seized and paid into the Civil Asset Recovery Fund in the future.
In 2014, at the request of the US authorities, the Island’s Attorney General applied for, and the Royal Court granted, a restraining order over the Jersey bank account balance of Doraville.
The purpose of the restraining order was to preserve the money until a final civil asset recovery order could be registered in the Royal Court. Doraville applied to the Royal Court for the restraint order to be discharged, but the Royal Court dismissed the application in 2016.
Then in 2017, Doraville challenged the Royal Court’s decision, taking the case to Jersey’s Court of Appeal.
That challenge was again rejected. Finally, following the decision of Jersey’s Court of Appeal, Doraville made an application to appeal against the restraint order before the Privy Council – Jersey’s ultimate appellate court. In February 2018, the Privy Council announced its rejection of this final legal challenge.