News / Africa

Report Accuses British Banks of Fueling Nigerian Corruption

Global Witness report cover
Global Witness report cover

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

The 40-page Global Witness report accuses five major British banks of not doing enough to monitor their customers.  It says as a result two former Nigerian governors accused of corruption managed to funnel vast sums of cash into British banks.

Global Witness campaigner Robert Palmer says one of the governors, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, brought around $4 million into Britain and deposited it with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is now majority owned by British taxpayers.

"This account received 2.6 million pounds.  Of that, 1.5 million pounds was a corrupt bribe paid by a contractor to secure a contract," Palmer said.

He says the second governor, Joshua Dariye, was also depositing major sums into British banks.  He says Barclays bank accepted major cash deposits of as much as  $75,000 during the course of several years.

"According to the court documents, he made several cash deposits of tens of thousands of pounds.  In one case, I think it was almost 50,000 pounds, in cash," Palmer said.

The Global Witness report covers the years from 1999 to 2005.  It is based on court documents from cases brought by the Nigerian government to win back funds it said had been stolen by the two former governors.

The report says the banks need to do more to better regulate who is using their services.  And it says Britain's financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, has to send out a clear signal that corrupt money is not welcome.  The report is critical of the Financial Services Authority for not taking action against banks that fail to stop money laundering.

The FSA refused to comment about the specific Nigerian cases but, speaking to VOA, spokesperson Sarah Bailey said earlier this year the financial regulator levied a heavy fine against the Royal Bank of Scotland for failing to sufficiently investigate its customers.

None of the five banks would speak with VOA on the record. But in a statement an HSBC spokesperson said "rigorous and robust" compliance procedures had been followed.

Palmer says whatever the banks say they are doing, at some point the system is failing because millions of corrupt dollars have made their way into British banks.

"Large scale corruption is simply not possible without banks willing to handle such dodgy payments," Palmer noted. "You need a bank to take the deposit.  You need a bank to make a wire transfer, and you need a bank if you want to sustain a rather nice, luxury lifestyle in Britain.  The banks are facilitating corruption by processing these payments."

Alamieyesheigha was accused of corruption after more than $2 million was found at his London home.  He later pleaded guilty to money laundering charges.  Dariye was arrested in 2004 after he bought homes worth millions of dollars, although his yearly salary was less than $100,000.  He has denied wrongdoing.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs