Following last month’s conviction of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, by a Southwark Crown Court for stealing millions of pounds from the treasury of his state, the British Government has decided to banish children of corrupt Nigerian politicians from its private schools.
In an interview with Cable News Network, the Unit head of the Proceeds of Corruption Unit of London’s Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Benton, disclosed that some measures would be applied against corrupt Nigerian politicians in the wake of the Ibori conviction.
According to him, “We hope that, by tackling the likes of James Ibori, we’re saying to those stealing from the state purse, you can’t have your children at private school in London. You can’t have a multimillion pound house in one of the most affluent areas of London. You can’t drive around in top of the range vehicles. We won’t let you move money around to buy multimillion pound jets.”
Mr Benton disclosed that his unit which comprises twelve detectives, traces the flow of foreign politicians’ money through London.
While examining the role played by British banks in aiding Ibori to loot his state’s treasury, it was found that Nigerian politicians find London an attractive location for laundered funds.
According to Robert Palmer of anti-corruption NGO, Global Witness, “London holds a double attraction for corrupt politicians. We are a major financial and legal centre so there’s a lot of expertise, and there’s also a lot of assets that go through the British financial institution, so it’s easier to disguise your assets….but there’s a prestige about being able to bring your assets and your wealth into the UK.”