20171021

"US & UK are biggest recipients of looted funds from Nigeria’"

Former United States intelligence community’s top expert on Nigeria, Mr. Mathew Page, has said that the U.S. and the United Kingdom are the biggest recipients of funds looted from Nigeria.

Page, a senior policymaker at the White House, State Department, Defense Department for more than a decade, stated this on Friday in Abuja at a roundtable organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development, a civil society organisation.

NAN reports that his submissions were contained in a paper titled, “From Maitama to Mayfair: How International Financial and Property Markets Fuel Corruption in Nigeria.’’

He noted that current banking, property and corporate laws in U.S. and U.K. did not only lack adequate safeguards but were designed to facilitate illicit financial flows from Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s kleptocrats deftly use both Nigerian banks and the international financial system, especially anonymous shell corporations and offshore tax havens, to launder stolen public funds and stash them overseas, often in the form of high-end real estate in London, Dubai, New York, and California.

“Despite possessing robust discretionary powers, the US and UK rarely deny visas to corrupt officials or report cases of suspected corruption or unexplained wealth back to law enforcement agencies back home.

“The UK is one of a small number of global financial centres that play a key role in processing substantial levels of corrupt capital,’’ he said.

He added; “If Nigerian kleptocrats are unable to visit their properties and spend their ill­-gotten gains in luxury boutiques in London, Dubai, and New York, the incentives for off-shoring them, would likely diminish.

“There is no doubt that the readiness with which the UK, US, and other parts of the international financial system absorb illicit financial outflows from Nigeria compounds the damage corruption inflicts here.”

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