Chatham House, a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation based in London which analyses and promotes the understanding of major international issues and current affairs, has estimated that $582 billion has been stolen from Nigeria since independence in 1960.
The finding was quoted in an article published by The Economist titled: ‘Catch me if you can, African kleptocrats are finding it tougher to stash cash in the West,’ The Cable reports.
Legit.ng gathers that The Economist, in the article which focuses on illegal financial flows in Africa, stated that so much has been pilfered from the continent that “tracking it all is tricky”.
In the article, Britain’s International Corruption Unit was quoted as saying £76m ($117m) loot had been confiscated from Nigeria since 2006.
It said: “Another £791m has been frozen worldwide thanks to its work,” adding that “it barely makes a dent in the £100bn of illicit funds which Steve Goodrich at Transparency International, a watchdog, reckons enters Britain every year.”
According to The Economist, the best way African leaders hide and move stolen funds is by setting up “a raft of anonymous shell companies and bank accounts”.
It discussed how former head of state, the late Gen Sani Abacha, stole Nigeria blind and “deposited billions of dollars in banks across the rich world, no questions asked”.
It added: “Light-fingered tyrants are looking back wistfully.
In past decades they could stash their illicit wealth in the West.
Friendly lawyers, banks and middlemen were on hand to park the loot.
Western governments often seemed equally unfussed.
” However, the article added that gone are the days when it was easy to steal public funds, as it is “becoming a bit harder to get away with”. It said:
“Anti-corruption campaigners and muckraking journalists have busied themselves trying to uncover stolen assets