Gambia’s new government is selling its exiled president, Yahya Jammeh’s fleet of presidential jet’s, Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh told parliament.
At least four aircraft are reportedly owned by the ex-leader, who is accused of corruption and siphoning billions during his two decades rule of the small nation.
The country is expected to make at least D471 Million dalasis ($11.8 million dollars) from the sale of the planes, which includes a Russian-made VIP presidential jet.
The jet, an Ilyushin IL-62M (C5-GNM) was previously owned by notorious Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout.
Bout and Jammeh reportedly had worked with Liberian ex-president and warlord, Charles Taylor facilitated huge arms shipments during the 1990s into various civil wars in Africa.
Former British Foreign Office minister Peter Hain called Bout a “sanctions buster” and described him as “the principal conduit for planes and supply routes that take arms from East Europe, principally Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine, to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Angola.”
The proceeds from the sale of the four planes will be less than 25% of the $50 million that Jammeh fled the country with to Equatorial Guinea.
Authorities in the West African nation have seized Jammeh’s domestic assets and on a race to have his known international properties seized.
Jammeh was defeated in the polls by his opposition rival, Adama Barrow and refused to cede power after first accepting defeat.
West African troops deposed him after two months of political turmoil. Barrow was sworn-in at the Gambian Embassy in neighboring Dakar and retook the oath of office in February on Gambian soil.