The World Bank has thrown its muscle behind Gambian authorities in their bid to recover at least $12 million dollars stolen by ex-President Yahya Jammeh.
The $12 million dollars (D480 million dalasis) was stolen by Jammeh in the last week of his rule and now stashed in Equatorial Guinea.
The World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Unit and the Gambia’s government agreed to partner to recover the stolen millions.
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow said the treasury is virtually empty and vowed to recover the country’s stolen wealth under the previous regime.
Barrow won elections in December on a promise to tackle corruption and arrest lavish spending.
Gambian authorities are accusing Jammeh of mismanagement billions and swindling $147 million dollars (D5.8 billion dalasis) in the last three years of his reign.
The Justice Department and Finance Ministry says it is gathering more facts and figures to ascertain the extent of financial damaged caused by Mr. Jammeh.
Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh said Jammeh left the country with a debt far more than the country’s GDP.
IMF reported that domestic debt in Gambia covers more than 120 percent of its GDP.
Gambia will be selling four presidential planes belong to Jammeh to recover some of the stolen wealth and raise money for the new administration.
The sale of the planes is expected to yield at least $11.8 million dollars (D472 million dalasis).
Jammeh’s domestic assets, including 88 bank accounts, 14 companies, and 131 properties have been seized by the courts to prevent him from liquidating them.
Authorities are also racing to have his international assets frozen, including a $3.5 million dollars (D140 million dalasis) mansion in the Washington suburb of Potomac.