Serekunda, GAMBIA:  Gambia's President and leader of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party, Yahya Jammeh, speaks with his wife Zineb during a presidential campaign meeting 20 September 2006 in Serekunda. Gambians go to the polls 22 September 2006 in a presidential vote expected to give incumbent Yahya Jammeh a third term as head of this tiny West African state, in the face of a weak opposition. AFP PHOTO SEYLLOU  (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Gambia freezes ex-president Jammeh’s assets

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh’s assets have been frozen by authorities in the West African nation four months after his uncolorful ouster.

Gambia’s Attorney General Aboubacarr Baa Tambadou announced on Monday that a court order has been obtained by the Justice Department freezing all known assets of the former Gambian leader.

“The court order freezes and places a temporary hold on the known assets of the former President Yahya Jammeh and companies directly associated with him,” reported SMBC’s Sainey MK Marenah in Banjul.

The order immediately froze 131 landed properties in Mr. Jammeh’s name, 88 bank accounts, 14 companies and livestock.

Gambian authorities have charged three of Jammeh’s brothers with theft after selling off some of his cows from his Kanilai farms, close to the southern border with Senegal.

A new finding by Gambia’s Justice Department uncovered that Mr. Jammeh made unauthorized withdrawals of millions of dalasi and foreign currencies amounting to at least D189 million ($4.725┬ámillion) between 2006 and 2007 from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation.

The new government has accused Jammeh of corruption and mismanaging billions of taxpayers’ money since coming to power in 1994.

Jammeh was defeated in the polls last year and fled to Equatorial Guinea. While fleeing, Jammeh made away with at least $150 million and shipped luxury cars and goods out of the country.

Jammeh owns a $3.5 million mansion in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. Activists have been calling for the U.S. Justice Department to freeze Jammeh’s assets over human rights abuses and the beating of protesters by his security detail.

Gambia’s Justice Department did not say if the Potomac property is affected by the assets freeze or if it will make a formal request to Washington to have it frozen.

The compound is frequented by Jammeh’s Moroccan wife, Zineb Jammeh, who has been implicated in the killing of her former bodyguard, Ello Jallow.

Jammeh’s regime has been accused by rights activists of human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and killing of those who voiced opposition to the government.

The repression and abuses created a climate of fear within Gambia, generating increased attention from the international community.

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