- Former Nigerian governor attempted to transfer his loot from UAE to Dominican Republic
- The ex-governor reportedly stashed $517m loot in the Middle East country
- He is now under the watch-list of the UAE and the EFCC
A former Nigerian governor who is believed to have stashed $517million loot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is under close watch.
The Nation reports that the ex-governor recently attempted to move the looted funds to the Dominican Republic but it was thwarted by the authorities in the UAE who are keeping intense watch over him.
The Middle East country is also keeping watch over the accounts and other transactions of some Nigerian VIPs who have used the country as a safety net for their loots.
There is a collaboration between the Nigerian and UAE security agencies to monitor the activities of many Nigerians, especially those categorized as “Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
The intelligence report on the former governor is one of the dividends of the collaboration.
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The former governor is “under the watch-list of the UAE and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” a source familiar with the development said.
The source said the former governor tried to transfer the loot because UAE law is now strict, adding that the law will catch up with him.
“The affected ex-governor is lying low and avoiding that country in order not to suffer the James Ibori fate,” the source said.
According to Mallam Shehu Sani, the chairman of the Senate committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts, as much as $200 billion of stolen funds from Nigeria may have been hidden in the UAE by past public officers and their agents/fronts.
He said: “Over $200 billion are stashed away in Dubai alone. This may be the monies stolen in the last 20 years. I am not talking about estates and bonds and other securities bought with Nigeria’s stolen money.”
A security source disclosed that the accounts, transactions and investments of some Nigerians have been under surveillance in the UAE, following the recent signing of the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement between the two countries.
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“This is based on the sharing of intelligence between Nigeria and UAE. In fact, some of those being watched have reduced their frequent trips to the Emirates. Actually any highly-placed Nigerian arrested for money laundering in UAE risks a 10 -year imprisonment,” the security source said.
In January, President Muhammadu Buhari signed six agreements with the UAE to enhance bilateral relations between them. They are; judicial agreement on extradition, transfer of sentenced persons, mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, and mutual legal assistance on criminal and commercial matters, which includes the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth with the UAE.