British Banks Complicit in Nigerian Corruption

A new report says five British banks have accepted millions of dollars from Nigerian politicians accused of corruption.

The report by anti-graft monitor Global Witness says the banks took deposits from two former Nigerian state governors who are accused of acquiring the money through bribes and theft.

The group says the deposits, made between 1999 and 2005, raise questions about the banks’ commitment to tackling financial crime. It says the report is based on court documents from litigation by the Nigerian government to get the funds returned.

One of the accused banks, HSBC, says it has “rigorous and robust” safeguards to prevent such abuses.

Global Witness names the other banks as Barclays, NatWest, UBS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It identifies the former governors as Joshua Dariye of Plateau state and Dieypreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa state.

Global Witness campaigner Robert Palmer said Monday that Alamieyeseigha brought about $4 million into Britain and deposited it with the Royal Bank of Scotland. He said Dariye made several cash deposits worth tens of thousands of dollars each into British banks, one of which totaled close to $80,000.

The report calls on Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, to send a clear message to the banks that corrupt money is not welcome. VOA

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