LUXEMBOURG - Creditors of the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International approved a settlement plan that would provide $1.8 billion from Abu Dhabi toward billions in claims.

It remains unclear when the nearly 250,000 creditors and depositors might start getting repayment for their losses, however.

A previous settlement approved in a Luxembourg court was later thrown out by an appeals court that found the deal too favorable to Abu Dhabi, the major shareholder in BCCI.

The Persian Gulf emirate was to have paid $1.7 billion into a fund for creditors in the earlier deal.

The issue of repayment has been thorny since banking regulators closed BCCI branches around the world in July 1991, leaving claims of about $10 billion.

Officials alleged BCCI was used to launder money for drug dealers and dictators around the globe, but some of the depositors who lost their money blame the troubles on lax regulation by the authorities, including the Bank of England.

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