Part II

The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project in its exclusive edition about the Gambia captioned  “The  Great Gambia  Heist – How Yahya Jammeh Stole a  Country” published March 27, 2019  featuring corruption, plunder and pillage of the Gambia’s financial resources involving former President Yahya Jammeh and his business associates uncovered mega sleaze amounting to US 1 billion dollars and more, during Yahya Jammeh’s two decades of rule.

OCCRP is a consortium of investigative centres, media and journalists operating worldwide. This Gambia report publication has been  authored by Khadija Sharife and Mark Anderson reported that former President Yahya Jammeh “orchestrated the embezzlement of nearly US$1 billion of public funds and illegal timber revenue during his 22-year rule, looting the treasury in a long-running conspiracy that crippled one of the world’s poorest countries”.

The report further revealed that “In total, Jammeh and his associates looted or misappropriated at least $975 million. Among their biggest targets: $363.9 million from the state-run telecoms company; $325.5 million in illicit timber revenue; more than $100 million in foreign aid and soft loans from Taiwan; $71.2 million from the Central Bank of The Gambia; $60 million from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, which manages disability, housing, and pension payments; and $55.2 million from the state-run oil company” the report stated.

According to the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Abubacarr Baa Marie Tambadou, the Janneh Commission of Inquiry probe, and investigations into the financial dealing of the former President Yahya Jammeh revealed that “Jammeh, either directly or through third parties, embezzled over 1 billion dalasis (over 20 million U.S. dollars)” in his 22 years of rule.

Some media reports citing an inquiry into Jammeh’s finances put the amount of his embezzlement at around 362 million dollars. 

Baa Tambadou added that his ministry is taking all measures to advise the president on the report, adding that Jammeh’s seized assets include both developed and non-developed assets.

According to Attorney General Tambadou, the Janneh Commission of Inquiry began investigation into Jammeh’s financial activities in July 2017. 

Since then, the Justice minister said it spent 50, 951, 261 on its activities, wages and operational cost, among others.

 “We must also take note that in the course of its work, the Commission was able to generate monies from its activities including 67, 894, 170 from the sale of recovered tractors and other items as well as monies in bank accounts hidden and other landed properties discovered by the Commission,” said Baa Tambadou. 

The Attorney General Tambadou declared at a news conference the forfeiture of all assets of Yahya Jammeh. 

“All financial institutions in the country, especially the commercial banks, are hereby advised to take note of this action and announcement which will soon be followed by correspondence specifically addressed to each of the institutions affected,” Baa said.

The Janneh Commission of Inquiry was created to examine the economic and financial activities, liabilities, marauding and plunder of state-owned resources of former president Yahya Jammeh during his twenty-two years of rule.

Baa Tambadou informed Gambian taxpayers that the Gambia government spend GMD 50, 951, 26 to the Janneh Commission to recover Yahya’s loot. 

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

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