Gambia’s ex-President Yahya Jammeh has shipped out of the country at least 90 containers filled with minerals illegally mined from off-book fields in the last two years of his rule.
Jammeh used his company, APAM to carry out the secret mining activities, mostly in western and eastern Gambia, denying the economy of millions in revenue.
Jammeh’s APAM, a subsidiary of his KGI company owes at least $600,000 (D24 million dalasis) to the country in tax arrears and licenses fees over the past two years.
Most of the minerals mined were rutile, zircon, and ilmenite from across the country, including in Kartong and Sanyang, according to Alieu Jawo, Assistant Director Geological Department.
Jammeh is also suspected to mining an unknown mineral, suspecting to be gold from a mine in Basse and off the River Gambia. The country’s Geology Department still does not know what stone was mined.
Jammeh had emptied a mining account at the Central Bank of The Gambia belonging to Carnegie Minerals, a company he forcefully took over.
He stashed millions from mining activities in accounts at commercial banks where he freely used the funds at his discretion, refusing to report them as part of the government’s revenue.