This money has been stolen by leaders whose greed has led them to deprive their people of the necessities of life.
One of these leaders is the Nigerian despot Sani Abacha, who allegedly hijacked more than $ 5 billion and kept them in foreign banks. His criminal actions were discovered after his death in 1998 and the country is fighting to recover the money stolen by their former leader.
A few months ago, Switzerland returned to Nigeria $ 322 million stolen by Sani Abacha and kept in its banks. Switzerland had previously handed over $ 700 million to Nigeria.
Switzerland, safe haven for stolen money and other ill-gotten gains, has kept in its banks a huge amount of money stolen and hidden by corrupt African dictators and their families. These banks have begun to make efforts to return this money.
Like Sani Abacha, dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo had also stolen more than $ 6 million that was hidden in Switzerland. The money was returned in 2009 to his eldest son, François-Joseph Mobutu Nzanga Ngbangawe, who became deputy prime minister.
In 2014, the ONE poverty group also reported that at least $ 1 billion is stolen annually in Africa by corrupt officials and officials who siphon money through money laundering. tax evasion and embezzlement.
A former Nigerian oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, received bribes from Nigerian businessmen Kolawole Aluko and Olajide Omokore between 2011 and 2015 and used his influence to run lucrative oil contracts.
It laundered the proceeds of these contracts illegally granted through the United States to purchase goods that were subsequently seized. These assets include a $ 50 million apartment in one of Manhattan’s most expensive buildings at 157 W. 57th Street and Galactia Star, an $ 80 million yacht.
The eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodorin Obiang, was also sentenced for laundering $ 115 million stolen from his country’s coffers. His lawsuit revealed the purchase of luxury properties and exotic vehicles in Paris.
Switzerland is not the only country where stolen funds have been kept. The United States is also a “safe hiding place” for money thieves.
The Swiss government has appealed to African countries to also retrace some of the money held in various banks in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, France, Japan and Luxembourg. , in Austria and Belgium.
In 2014, the United States Department of Justice announced that it had frozen more than $ 458 million allegedly stolen by Sani Abacha and other corrupt Nigerian officials.
A Nigerian economic and social rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), wrote an open letter to US President Donald Trump calling for the return of the $ 500 million stolen by General Sani Abacha during his reign . They insisted that the amount is separate from the $ 480 million frozen by the United States.
In March 2018, local media in Belgium revealed that about $ 12.3 billion disappeared from four frozen Euroclear Bank accounts belonging to two Libyan state agencies.
Accounts containing 16.1 billion euros of public funds have been frozen since March 2011 in accordance with a UN resolution in the context of sanctions against the restricted circle of Muammar Gaddafi, reports the weekly Le Vif.
Several European Union countries have passed laws to reveal the identity of bank account holders abroad in the event of suspected corruption, which has given rise to a new safe haven for stolen money. Dubai is one of the most secret new financial places.
Unlike Switzerland, which calls on African governments to grant them full legal cooperation to persuade its courts to release the accounts of corrupt leaders, other countries are living off the stolen wealth of impoverished African countries by their leaders.