Wednesday 3 December 2014

State of Jersey to return £315 million Abacha loot to Nigeria

The Bailiff of Jersey, Mr Michael Birt, has disclosed the readiness of the State of Jersey to return £315 million Abacha loot to Nigeria.

Birt, who doubles as the Island’s Civic Head of State and ceremonial head, made the disclosure while speaking during a dinner in honour of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, during a State visit to the Island.

It will be recalled that the Island, famous for its transparent banking services, had previously repatriated in two tranches £140 million pounds of the loot.

The money was laundered on behalf of Abacha by Mr Raj Bhojwani an Indian businessman, who is currently serving an eight year sentence in a UK prison.

Speaking on Jersey’s financial services and global perception of the Island, Birt said that the repatriated loot was in line with ongoing campaign against money laundering.

“We have done a lot to clean up the image of the Island as a safe haven for stolen wealth.

“What we have in place is a transparent and legal finance heaven where only legal funds can be deposited and accessed by investors,” Birt said.
In his response, Dr Tafida commended Birt for the Islands transparent banking sector, and informed them of government’s commitment to fighting corruption and strengthening its anti-graft agencies.

The High Commissioner also spoke on the investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy, while laying emphasis on the nation’s GDP, and high return on investment rate.

“The array of investment opportunities that abound in the country and generous incentives available to investors in all sectors of the economy, has continued to make it a global investment destination,” he stressed.
The dinner was attended by top officials from the Jersey government and members of Tafida’s delegation.

The visit marks the beginning of a bi-lateral relations with the Jersey and the officials from Jersey are expected to carry out a similar visit to Nigeria.

Credit: Channels 

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