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Thursday, May 10, 2012

British Police Vows To Fight Corrupt Politicians From Nigerian

The British police have vowed to
strengthen its fight against corrupt
Nigerian politician who laundered
money to the UK.

This comes after ex-Delta state
governor, James Ibori, was convicted by
a Southwark Crown Court in London for
stealing billions of Naira from the Delta
state treasury, and transferring his loot
to the UK.

The Unit head of the Proceeds of
Corruption Unit of London’s
Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief
Inspector Jonathan Benton, in an
interview with CNN revealed that some
measures would be applied against
corrupt Nigerian politicians following of
the Ibori’s conviction.

“We hope that, by tackling the likes of
James Ibori, we’re saying to those
stealing from the state purse, you can’t
have your children at private school in
London. You can’t have a multimillion
pound house in one of the most
affluent areas of London. You can’t
drive around in top of the range
vehicles. We won’t let you move money
around to buy multimillion pound jets.”
Chief Inspector Benton said.

Mr Benton disclosed that his unit which
comprises twelve detectives, traces the
flow of foreign politicians’ money
through London.

While examining the role played by
British banks in aiding Ibori to loot his
state’s treasury, it was found that
Nigerian politicians find London an
attractive location for laundered funds.

The spokesman for the British High
Commission in Nigeria, , Hooman
Nouruzi, said in a statement that
according to the UK law;
“Money acquired through corrupt and
illegal practices should be confiscated
and should not be available to be used
by criminals to fund an affluent and
privileged lifestyle for themselves and
their families.

“Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors
have already obtained confiscation
orders against associates of Mr James
Ibori and have asked the Court to make
a confiscation order against Mr Ibori
himself. A confiscation order is a
requirement to pay a specific sum of
money. It does not prohibit activities
such as paying school fees, but this is
likely to be a consequence of illegal
funds being frozen or paid back”.

According to Robert Palmer of anti-
corruption NGO, Global Witness, “London
holds a double attraction for corrupt
politicians. We are a major financial and
legal centre so there’s a lot of expertise,
and there’s also a lot of assets that go
through the British financial institution,
so it’s easier to disguise your
assets….but there’s a prestige about
being able to bring your assets and
your wealth into the UK.”

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