Nigerian President to HSBC Bank “Return All Our Stolen $100 Million”: Can Crypto Help?
“Return All Our Stolen $100 Million,” Says Nigerian President.
President Buhari of Nigeria demands that the globally renowned bank, HSBC Bank, sends back more than 100 million dollars that Sani Abacha, a former dictator, laundered from the nation’s economy. Until his death in 1998 due to a heart attack, Abacha led a five-year-long dictatorial regime. Nevertheless, during his reign, the nation’s economy somewhat improved with low inflation rates and greater forex reserves.
Large Scale Looting
Abacha is, however, accused of looting his nation at a high level, by stealing over $4 billion of his country’s oil wealth when he was serving as the head of state. Transparency International lists the army general as one of the top five corrupt leaders in history.
According to Malam Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, investigation agencies had discovered that HSBC helped Abacha in laundering over 100 million dollars across London, Paris, Geneva, and Jersey. Some of the accounts include $12 stored in Jersey and over $20 million in the UK. Shehu released this statement after HSBC released a report that stated that Nigeria’s economy would likely fall if the incumbent President Buhari were to win his second term.
Shehu commented that a financial institution with millions in stolen Abacha loot that was yet to be recovered had no right of talking about how Mr. Buhari’s second term would increase the likelihood of further economic deterioration and limited fiscal progress. Shehu added that HSBC should first return all the stolen assets to the country.
HSBC was founded back in 1865 with the aim of financing trade relations between the West and Asia. Today, the HSBC Group represents one of the biggest financial and banking services companies in the world with over 38 million clients globally. The bank is in more than 80 different territories across the Americas, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
Previous History of Financial Offenses
Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission has also accused HSBC of playing a role in laundering corruption proceeds for numerous Nigerians, including one serving senator. HSBC has also been ordered to pay billions of US dollars in hefty fines for financial crimes like money laundering. In America, HSBC was ordered to pay 1.92 billion dollars for assisting in facilitating the money laundering or drug money from Mexico. Hong Kong also forced HSBC to pay a couple of millions for some systemic deficiencies within the financial institution.
Of the multi-million loot stolen by Abacha, America repatriated close to $500 million that was hidden within that country. Switzerland also repatriated a similar amount back to Nigeria, signifying the first instance where any European bank had decided to return stolen funds to an African continent. African countries lose over 50 billion dollars in illegal financial flows every year according to research.