800 assets belonging to top security chiefs, others uncovered in UAE – HEDA
Anti-graft group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has revealed that more than $400 million worth of assets and funds stolen from Nigeria and stashed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been uncovered. The loot allegedly belong to 13 top security chiefs and some other Nigerian public officials.
The chairman, HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju revealed this while speaking at a conference on ‘Fixing Financial Flows: A critical review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and practices in Financial and Non-financial Institutions,’ held in Abuja.
Suraju said the illicit financial outflows from Nigeria have continued to hurt the vulnerable poor, fuel violence, and constitute threats to the moral authority of the Nigerian state.
HEDA explained that out of the 800 assets uncovered by investigators, 216 assets were linked to 13 top security officials, while the remaining 584 have been traced to public officials.
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“Of the 800 Nigerian stolen illicit assets lodged in UAE, 13 security officials own 216 of them while 584 of the remaining assets are owned by Nigerian public officials,’ he noted.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, participants said the UAE and UK represent some of the hosts of illicit financial flow from Nigeria estimated at $17billion every year.
“Politically-exposed persons are not just politicians but also their families while enablers of illicit financial flow include dealers in precious minerals, professionals who enhance and sustain illicit financial flows.”
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“Nigeria should progressively review her international obligations like the UN Conventions on Corruption which has five focal points which included international cooperation, technical assistance, asset recovery, and mutual legal assistance.”