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Nigerian State Funds: Requests To Freeze

Volume 622: debated on Monday 19 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Why and how authorities in Jersey have been able to freeze funds alleged to have been wrongfully removed from Nigerian state accounts; and why they and city institutions have been unable to do so here, despite requests from Nigeria. [HL672]

It is my understanding of the matter that the authorities in Jersey have not yet frozen funds related to the Abacha affair, but that the financial institutions there are aware of the sanctions—on the fronts of constructive trusteeship, regulatory law and criminal law—which attach to any transfer of funds which transpire to have been the proceeds of crime, and may therefore have taken precautionary steps for their own protection.In respect of the request to freeze funds in the United Kingdom, the position remains that we await further information from the Nigerian authorities before we can take the action sought. We are actively pursuing the solicitors acting for the Nigerian Government to secure the information needed, and repeat our willingness to assist the Nigerian authorities whenever it is possible to do so, according to United Kingdom law. It is my understanding that the Jersey authorities are in the same position.