Name: Sani Abacha
Wealth: $2 billion – $5 billion
English-trained General Sani Abacha seized power in Nigeria in 1993, banned political parties and demonstrations, censored the press and cracked down on dissent. In 1995, he ordered the execution of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other political activists, who were opposing exploitation of Nigeria’s resources by foreign oil companies. In the uproar that followed, Nigeria was suspended from the Commonwealth.
Abacha died of a heart attack in 1998, aged 54, at his presidential villa, and was buried the same day without an autopsy. Possibly he was poisoned by one of six Indian teenage prostitutes entertaining him that night. Abacha checks in at number 4 on Transparency International’s list of the world’s kleptocrats, with $2 billion to $5 billion.
Around $1.2 billion has been repatriated from banks in (mainly) Switzerland and Liechtenstein, while another $500 million remains frozen.