On Tuesday 28th March 2023, following an application made by His Majesty's Comptroller (Guernsey's Solicitor General), the Royal Court of Guernsey ordered the registration and enforcement of an external confiscation order against funds which had been placed in a Guernsey based trust, established in 2003, by Elias Preko (a Ghanaian national) for the benefit of James Ibori (a Nigerian politician). As a result, millions of pounds stolen from the people of Nigeria can be returned to them.

The application was made in response to a request from the Proceeds of Crime National Enforcement Team of the Crown Prosecution Service by virtue of a Letter of Request for Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters. 

Ibori was the governor of Nigeria's oil rich Delta State between 1999 and 2007, and during the height of his power was one of Nigeria's most prominant politicians. He is believed to have stolen millions of pounds from the Nigerian government. Preko was a highly qualified and experienced investment advisor who facilitated the creation of trusts for Ibori, to assist in disguising Ibori's criminal activity.

In December 2013, Preko was convicted in the United Kingdom on two counts money laundering encompassing the periods 2003 to 2008.  The convictions arose from his professional relationship with Ibori.  Ibori had been convicted in 2012, after pleading guilty to equivalent offences.

Confiscation proceedings against Preko were concluded in September 2019. Preko's criminal benefit under the UK's Proceeds of Crime Act was assessed at £7,324,268.41 and an order made accordingly in the UK proceedings. 

Under the terms of the Guernsey enforcement order, £5,368,512.63 was recovered to be applied towards satisfaction of the UK Order. Members of the  Law Officers' Economic Crime Unit will be discussing with the UK authorities how to assist in returning the funds to the people of Nigeria.    

His Majesty's Comptroller said: "We are pleased to have played an important part in Guernsey in facilitating the return to the people of Nigeria of millions of pounds stolen from them by a corrupt politician. This case shows how our legislative regime can have a practical impact in combatting financial crime wherever it has taken place, and in achieving justice for its victims."