Gambia’s ousted President Yahya Jammeh has used dozens of bank accounts to receive government payments, helping him to make away with more than US$100 million (GMD4.9 billion) during the 2015 fiscal year alone.
Gambia’s new authorities have started investigating allegations of theft and corruption under Jammeh’s regime and found that the former ruler as of December 2015 withdrew D139.3 million (US$3.5 million) from the Carnegie Mineral account at the Central Bank and at least D1.8 billion (US$45.2 million) from the Gamtel gateway project account.
Millions of Dalasis were diverted from parastatal accounts to Central Bank accounts under the Office of the President, Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh said.
Only about a dozen accounts have so far being examined, leaving tens of other yet to be investigated.
“The figures are astronomical. Each withdrawal is like a telephone number and by the time we get to the bottom, of it, the figures will look like a computer software code,” says Essa Jallow, Press Secretary for GDC opposition leader Mama Kandeh.
In the last days of his regime, Jammeh emptied the state treasury of at least D150 million (US$12 million) and now Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty is vowing to have those responsible brought to justice.
“Even if it means going to Equatorial Guinea to bring some back, we will to make sure our stolen monies are recovered and they are brought to justice,” Fatty said.
Gambia’s Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang warned in December that Jammeh was not to be allowed to leave the country until investigations into allegations of stolen state funds are finished.
Jammeh had ruled the Gambia for 22 years and reportedly has a net worth of US$1.8 billion (D40.9 billion) with mansions and businesses in the U.S., Eastern Europe and the Gulf states.