Nigeria Recovers $160 Million in Alleged Corruption Proceeds

  • Money seized from commercial bank, ex-oil company executive
  • May be ‘tip of iceberg’ as country cracks down on illegal cash

Nigeria recovered more than $160 million in alleged corruption proceeds last week from four people, including $9.2 million from a former head of the state-owned oil company, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed.

“The biggest amount of $136.7 million was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake account name,” Mohammed said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. The rest was from three others, including an unidentified former group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., according to the statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 after campaigning to end widespread corruption in the country of more than 180 million people, one of Africa’s top oil and gas producers. Several former government officials, including army generals, are on trial for corruption, which PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated in a report last year could cost the country 37 percent of its gross domestic product by 2030.

“Whatever has been recovered so far is just a tip of the iceberg,” Mohammed said.

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