GovernanceNews

Ex- Gambian Dictator Jammeh “liquidating or dissipating assets” in foreign banks

Ex-Gambian Dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh

West Africa – Former Gambian military dictator turned confused life-time president, Yahya Jammeh is strategizing from his home in Equatorial Guinea on ways to conceal over US52 million dollars he stole from his country prior to his final exit.

Jammeh who was in power for over 20 years has been conferring with many international cartel business consultants and his trusted friends and family on various transfer methods.
The Gambia’s former ruler stole the funds from the state, the country’s justice minister informed international media few months ago.

The new government in the country has expressed interest and the determination to go after the ex-ruler stolen wealth in what seems to be the first major anti-corruption move by the country’s new president.

Analysts say it’s the first time the new government of the west African country has put a figure on the amount it believes Jammeh stole from state coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea in January after almost 22 years in power.

“President Yahya Jammeh personally or under his instructions directed the unlawful withdrawal of at least $50 million,” Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said, describing withdrawals from the Gambia’s central bank and linked with state-owned Gamtel between 2013 and 2017.”We have obtained a court order freezing or placing a temporary hold on the known assets in the country of former President Yahya Jammeh and companies directly associated with him,” Tambadou added during a previous press conference.

Equatorial Guinea is paying host to many former African officials and business people accused of economic crimes. Visible among former high profile African officials seeking provisional resident in Equatorial Guinea include former president Jammeh and former Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia Robert A. Sirleaf who is also the son of soon to be outgoing Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Several private investigative security firms based in New York and London seem ready to assist African nations and governments that would like to track stolen wealth from their countries.
The ex-Gambian ruler decided to commence hiding his assets and change the names on many of his foreign bank accounts following court cases and order brought against him the Gambia by the current government of President Adama Barrow.

Multiple official’s sources confirmed that the court order concerns 88 bank accounts in Jammeh’s name or those of his associates, along with 14 companies linked with the former strongman, Tambadou told journalists.

The former president ran everything from bakeries to farms during his tenure and was regularly accused of taking over successful businesses for his own gain.

The existing order against the ex-dictator was designed to prevent him from “liquidating or dissipating assets,” the justice minister added, confirming the order applied only to the former leader’s assets in The Gambia.

Few months ago, Gambian police said three cousins of the former dictator would face theft charges after selling off his cattle, raising suspicions that his contacts still in the country were under scrutiny.

According to credible information from the country’s foreign ministry says the Gambian government has revoked the diplomatic passports of Yahya Jammeh and his family that were issued by the former regime.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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