The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it traced about $1.5billion believed to be proceeds of crime to a Swiss account as part of the ongoing probe of former minister of petroluem, Deziani Alison-Madueke.
The anti-graft commission disclosed that it has linked the loot to the ex-minister and four of her business associates.
Also Nigeria is set to activate one of the agreements it signed with the United Arab Emirates to seize some mansions traced to former Oil Minister, The Nation reported.
According to the newspaper, four detectives left Nigeria on Friday for the United Kingdom with more clues on Mrs Alison-Madueke’s alleged loot.
The detectives have reportedly gained access to two exotic mansions belonging to the former minister in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ahead of an Assets Forfeiture process by the Federal Government.
The properties are said to be located in E146 Emirates Hill Dubai and J5 Emirates Hill Dubai.
With the uncovering of the two assets of the ex-minister, the Federal Government wants to invoke the agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters(recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth) between Nigeria and the UAE to initiate a forfeiture.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2016 entered into six agreements with the Emirates, including the Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters(recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth).
A top source in the EFCC told the Nation that about $1.5billion has been traced to the ex-minister and her business associates.
The associates allegedly used two shell companies to sell more than $1.5bn worth of Nigerian crude oil, the source said.
EFCC claimed that the $1.5billion oil cash has been traced to a bank in Switzerland.
The source said: “So far investigation revealed that the $1.5billion was laundered into an account in Switzerland after passing through the United States. We have the details of how the cash was wired into the account by some oil firms.
“Our investigation confirmed that the account was used to disburse the slush funds to make exotic purchases and acquire properties in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
“The US Department of Justice through its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is already seeking to recover $144m in assets from some Diezani associates.”
It is the second time this year that EFCC detectives will be going to London as the anti-graft agency intensifies effort to prosecute Deziani.
“We are working hard on how to seize cash and assets linked with Diezani. We want her tried at home instead of in he UK,” the source told The Nation.
It was gathered that Mrs Alison-Madueke’s posh mansions in Dubai are worth about 74million Dirham.
The source added:”Apart from the database made available to us by the UAE, there is no hiding place for Diezani, her associates and all the Politically Exposed Persons( PEPs) because the UAE has a Beneficial Ownership policy which will give details of those with assets, even if they are bought through proxies.”