Recovering millions of dollars of assets stolen by Gambia’s ex-President Yahya Jammeh may take longer than many would expect.
World Bank Country Director, Louise Cord said it could “unfortunately” take many years to have some these assets returned to the Gambia.
“Recovering of stolen assets is a long term process. It could, unfortunately, take many years because you have to work through the legal systems of many countries,” Cord said.
Gambian authorities accuse Jammeh of spending more than $147 million dollars in the last three years of his rule and withdrew at least $50 million dollars before fleeing to Equatorial Guinea.
He is suspected of siphoning billions, prompting the commissioning of a special board to probe his assets and businesses.
The World Bank has agreed to help The Gambia recover its stolen assets and a team is involved that is working closely with the government.
Jammeh’s domestic assets have been frozen by a court in Banjul. The move affected at least 131, 88 bank accounts and 14 companies.
The defeated ruler has assets stashed in northern Africa, eastern Europe, the Middle East and America.
Gambia has solicited the help of U.S. authorities to have Jammeh’s $3.5 million dollars Potomac mansion seized.
U.S. has indicated its willingness to help the West African nation to win the race to have Jammeh’s mansion and plans are being worked on to have the Justice Department secure a court order to have it seized.