Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh maintained 22 bank accounts with the country’s Central Bank, withdrawing millions of dollars from the accounts as he pleased.
Jammeh had emptied the monies in the accounts before he fled the country and made additional withdrawals in the days and weeks following his shameful ouster.
Jammeh ordered the opening and operation of the accounts in violation of government financial regulations. He withdrew millions with the help of his aides by passing withdrawal requirements.
According to the Principal Banking Officer of the Gambia’s Central Bank, Jammeh and his aides wrote instructions for withdrawals on papers, sometimes without letterheads.
Hundreds of millions were stashed in the account and by the time Mr. Jammeh ceased to be Gambia’s leader, he emptied various accounts of at least $50 million and loaded them on a private jet to Equatorial Guinea.
A special aide to Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow and now Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmad Fatty did assert that Jammeh had ransacked the Central Bank before fleeing.
But the then Presidential Spokesperson and now Member of Parliament, Halifa Sallah said Gambia’s central bank deposits are “intact”, a day after Fatty had said there was no money left in the state coffers.
Jammeh had also maintained secret government accounts in commercial banks in which millions were hidden. The total number of accounts in commercial banks is yet to be determined.
Gambian authorities have seized at least 95 private bank accounts linked to Jammeh. His party, the APRC says some of the accounts were not operated by the ex-president but were meant for the saving of contributions by party supporters.