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US Freezes $458 Million in Assets Stolen by Late Nigerian Dictator Abacha

The United States has frozen more than $458 million in assets stolen by the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and hidden in accounts around the world.

The Justice Department says the move to recover the money is the largest such action in its history.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman calls this a clear message that the United States is determined to confiscate the riches of corrupt leaders who drain their countries' resources.

U.S. officials say General Abacha embezzled billions while millions of Nigerians lived in poverty. They say he and his co-conspirators laundered their stolen funds through U.S. financial institutions and U.S.-backed bonds.

General Abacha seized power in oil-rich Nigeria in a 1993 military coup and ruled the country until his death in 1998.

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