The Department of Justice moved to freeze more than $458 million in illicit funds hidden in secret accounts around the world that belong to Sani Abacha, Nigeria's deceased dictator, and his cohorts.
In a statement, the Department said it had unsealed a complaint in the U.S. District Court to recover more than $550 million in connection with what it called "the largest kleptocracy forfeiture action brought in the department's history."
The funds are dispersed in accounts across the globe, including France and the United Kingdom. Abacha rose to power through a coup in 1993, and held power until his demise in 1998. His son, Mohammed, and others "embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions" from the Nigerian government and others, the DoJ's complaint said.