Gambia: head of four public institutions dismissed, detained

Gambia: head of four public institutions dismissed, detained

At least four managing directors of institutions that were financially handicapped by Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh have been arrested by the police.

The directors of Gamtel, Ports Authority, National Petroleum, and Social Security were dismissed by the country’s new President Adama Barrow and detained by authorities.

Replacements are yet to be announced for Baboubacarr Sanyang of Gamtel, Edward Graham of Social Security, Momodou Lamin Sanyang of Ports Authority and Baboucarr Njie of the National Petroleum Company. Their institutions served as “personal banks” for the former leader.

Gambia’s Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh said more than US$200 million was siphoned by Jammeh from the accounts of the three institutions, including pension benefits.

Jammeh fled the country leaving the treasury empty. The European Union pumped in more than US$80 million to help jumpstart the economy, which was battered by corruption.

Gambian authorities have vowed to recover the billions stolen by the former regime. The Homeland Security Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty says the country’s wealth will be recovered even if it means “bringing back someone from Equatorial Guinea,” the Central African nation where Jammeh is given a safe haven.

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