£1m “STOLEN MONEY” HANDED BACK TO NIGERIA
The Met police on Thursday the 6th of July, handed over almost £1m to the Federal Republic of Nigeria after successfully gaining a court order for money corruptly taken from the Nigerian authorities to be handed back to them.
The money was seized by police during two warrants executed on 15.9.05 and 27.9.05 on the home address of 54 year-old Nigerian Mr Diepreye Soloman Peter Alamieyeseigha, State Governor of
The six month Met money laundering operation seized the £988,273.52 cash, made up of a variety of currency including Euros, Sterling and Dollars under the cash seizure powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Officers executed a warrant at the address and on the first occasion had to force entry to a locked bedroom. Inside they had to break into suitcases and bags scattered across the room that contained £893,517 in mixed currency.
The Nigerian Government appointed a firm of solicitors in London, namely Kendall Freeman, to represent their interests in this cash. The solicitors made an application under
section 301 of POCA immediately after the Magistrates agreed the order to have the cash paid to them for it to be repatriated to the Nigerian Government.
DC Peter Clark, from the Specialist Crime Directorates' Money Laundering Team who was in charge of the investigation, said: "This seizure demonstrates the success of how we are using the Proceeds of Crime Act to stop criminals benefiting from illegally obtained money. We have worked closely with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to progress this investigation.
"We believe these types of seizures will help deter financial crime in both London and Nigeria. The contacts and ongoing liaison established between Nigeria and The Economic and Specialist Crime unit will be utilised to target money launderers using London and its banking systems."
Credit: Met Press Bureau.