Gambia’s Justice Minister, Mr. Aboubaccar Tambedou, disclosed on Monday that the Gambian government has confiscated 86 bank accounts , 131 properties, 14 Companies, assets owned by the country’s former dictator, Mr. Yahya Jammeh, as investigations into his illegally acquired wealth intensifies.
The new Gambian government, headed by Mr. Adama Barrow, has accused Mr. Jammeh of large-scale fraud, including theft of $50M in public funds during his 22-year rule, which was terminated via an electoral defeat in December and subsequent exile in January.
According to Mr Tambedou:
“The government has obtained a court order to freeze and place temporary hold on all of Jammeh’s known assets and companies directly linked to him.”
A total of 14 companies registered in the former dictator’s name were confiscated along with livestock and cars. The Solicitor-General of The Gambia, Mr. Cherno Marenah, disclosed that a commission of inquiry would be set up in June to decide what will become of the seized assets.
Mr. Jammeh, disclosed the Solicitor- General, withdrew an estimated $50 million from the country’s Central Bank between 2006 and 2016. This sum funded his lush lifestyle complete with a private jet, a mansion in the United States and a fleet of luxury cars.
The country’s Justice Ministry has also opened investigations into the purported charity alleged to have over $8 million in a bank account opened in the name of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, a charity he founded. It is also alleged that the money flowed into Mr. Jammeh’s private accounts, not to any project undertaken by the foundation
Since being forced into exile, Mr. Jammeh has fallen off the radar and has continually avoided answering journalists’ queries about the accusations against him.