Authorities in Switzerland have ordered the seizure of assets worth around $350m from Abba Abacha, son of Sani Abacha, ex-President of Nigeria. The order came as a result of a suspended custodial sentence emanating from a conviction of being a member of a criminal organisation. Abba, one of the sons of the late military dictator, has also been convicted for graft.
The investigation which started in 1999 was as a result of a request by the Nigerian government to the swiss authorities to recover an estimated $3 billion misappropriated by Sani Abacha during his four-year rule as Nigeria’s Head of State. The government of Nigeria has since recovered $700m form the Swiss. In a statement, the Geneva Canton’s justice office said “The first order of the sentence issued yesterday by the examining magistrate found that Abba Abacha, born November 9, 1968, son of the late General Sani Abacha, was guilty of participation in a criminal organisation,”
The Swiss authorities also confirmed that they had convicted an intermediary who is currently living in Monaco, for having been part of the criminal organisation run by the Abacha family. In a statement the authorities said “The person has also been ordered to pay the Canton of Geneva 10million Swiss Francs — which corresponds to illegal gains obtained from these culpable activities,” It seems the Abacha family used members of their family, close aides and business associates to transfer the money into different Swiss bank accounts.
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