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Geneva prosecutors make first charge in Nigerian dirty money case

The justice authorities in Geneva have made their first charge during an investigation into allegations that the former Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha (pictured), poured millions of dollars into Swiss accounts, which he had plundered from the state.

This content was published on April 3, 2000 - 23:00

The justice authorities in Geneva have made their first charge during an investigation into allegations that the former Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha (pictured), poured millions of dollars into Swiss accounts, which he had plundered from the state.

The charge concerns an Indian businessman, who is accused of using fraud to deposit huge sums into an account in Switzerland.
The businessman had been placed in charge of Nigeria's main industries, including oil, during Abacha's dictatorship.

Switzerland froze around $645 million in bank accounts here, believed to be connected to Abacha and his associates, following a request for legal assistance from the current Nigerian government. The money is thought to have been deposited in around 140 accounts in Geneva and Zurich.

The justice authorities in Geneva are also conducting a separate investigation into money-laundering allegations.

The Nigerian government says Abacha systematically stole from the central bank throughout his five year dictatorship. The money is also believed to be deposited in the United States, Britain, France and Belgium. Abacha died in 1998.

swissinfo and agencies


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