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CAB freezes €5m bonds linked to Nigerian dictator

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The late Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.Pic: AP Photo files.

The late Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.Pic: AP Photo files.

The late Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.Pic: AP Photo files.

THE Criminal Assets Bureau has secured orders freezing Irish-held investment bonds worth €5.22m allegedly misappropriated by the family of the late Nigerian military dictator General Sani Abacha.

Earlier this month the CAB obtained a temporary freezing order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, from the High Court freezing investment bonds,

The bonds were obtained with money illegally taken out of Nigeria, before it was laundered to Ireland, CAB says, via institutions in Switzerland, London, and New York.

CAB also claims the bonds, which it says are in breach of Irish tax evasion laws, are linked to the late general's eldest surviving son, Mohammed Sani Abacha. The freezing order was obtained on an ex-parte basis with only the CAB side represented.

Benedict Ó Floinn BL, for CAB, told Mr Justice Raymond Fullam the bonds are linked to the late general's regime who took "an eye watering amount of money" from the Nigerian state. After the CAB obtained the freezing orders, efforts to serve Mohammed Sani Abacha with notice of the proceedings before the Irish High Court had been "thwarted". This, counsel said, is due to problems with internal conflict in Nigeria and Ebola in the West Africa region.

Counsel asked that the matter be adjourned until an update on serving Mr Mohammed Abacha can be provided to the court. The judge agreed to put the case back, with the freezing orders in place, to a date later this month. General Sani Abacha ruled Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998.

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