Authorities in the West African nation of the Gambia vow to recover more than a billion dollars of stolen state monies siphoned by its ousted ruler Yahya Jammeh during his 22-year rule.
The Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest country, surrounded on all three sides by its neighbor Senegal, except for the west, where hundreds of thousands of European tourist spend their winter holidays.
Gambia’s homeland security minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty, said Jammeh during the last two weeks of his presidency withdrew at least US$12 million from various government accounts.
“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.
Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea after he was ousted in the polls in December.
Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh revealed on Monday that public enterprises were left bankrupt by Jammeh, who ordered his aides to withdraw more than US$100 million in cash from accounts mainly at the Central Bank in 2015 alone.
Jammeh, who has been accused of rights abuses and attempted to withdraw the Gambia from the International Criminal Court reportedly has a net worth of $1.9 billion, equivalent to the debt owned by the peanut exporting nation.