The Swiss government has announced that it has so far returned to Nigeria a total of $700million of the money stolen by the late military dictator, Gen. Sanni Abacha, Vanguard newspaper reports. The revelation on the status of Abacha’s loot was made by the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel at a media briefing in Abuja. Hodel also hinted that his country had begun proceedings in Geneva against one of Abacha’s sons -Abba, for allegedly sponsoring a criminal organization but did not give further details. The briefing was in respect of an international seminar by the Switzerland embassy and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.
The envoy however used the forum to deny the existence of fresh $1 billion being alluded to by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as still being held by the Swiss banks. Hodel stated that the Abacha’s loot case in particular compelled his country to adopt more stringent measures to combat illicit dealings in its financial sector.