FG promise to expose looters of $69bn in US banks

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The Federal Government is gathering evidence on government officials linked to alleged looting of $69bn (N28.3tn) and stashed in various bank accounts in Texas, the United States, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has assured.

The loot reportedly accrued from illegal oil deals involving some officials of the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Central Bank of Nigeria during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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An American assets recovery firm, Forensic Assets Investigation and Recovery Services LLC, discovered the $69bn loot.

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Findings showed that the American company, FAIR, is a specialist in anti-corruption asset recovery working independently to trace and help repatriate money stashed away in foreign bank accounts and loot converted to real estate, luxury items, yachts and the money markets.

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The firm, founded by a lawyer, Gary Riebschlager, comprises investigators, forensic accountants, bankers, and cyber experts who utilise Mutual Legal Agreements and global Financial Intelligence Units, Camden Assets Recovery Inter-Agency Network, Global Focus Point Network in Asset Recovery (Interpol), and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative of the World Bank.

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In a January 2019 confidential memo to the Special Presidential Investigation Panel, FAIR said it could help the Federal Government recover the money if hired and compensated for its services.

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Out of the loot, $9bn was reportedly traced to a Texas bank account belonging to the late National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi. He died in a helicopter crash in Okoroba, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in December 2012 alongside the Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa.

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