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28 March 2017 17:40 (South Africa)

Swiss seize assets from son of former Nigerian dictator

A Swiss court has ordered the seizure of $350 million in assets from Abba Abacha, the son of Nigeria's former military ruler, General Sani Abacha. Abacha Jnr was convicted of being a member of a criminal organisation and given a suspended custodial sentence. The Swiss have been investigating Abacha’s family since 1999, and have so far handed back about $700 million to Nigeria. Abba’s dad, Generalissimo Abacha, in power from 1993 until his death in 1998, is thought to have stolen $2.2 billion during his rule. Swiss authorities pursued Abacha Jnr for six years before extraditing him from Germany in 2005. Why he only received a suspended jail term for stolen amounts in the hundreds of millions of dollars can only be answered by the Swiss courts. Recently, a French court suspended the two-year sentence it gave the son of former French president Francois Mitterrand for his role in a $790 million Angolan arms scandal. Sies, man! What’s that about all are equal before the law? Read more: BBC, The Australian

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