Gambia ex-regime opened so-called National Security Account to hide stolen wealth

Gambia ex-regime opened so-called National Security Account to hide stolen wealth

On the orders of the ex-President Yahya Jammeh, a secret bank account dubbed the National Security Account was opened in a commercial bank where looted taxpayers’ monies were stashed.

The account at Skye Bank is yet to be fully examined by a Commission that is investigating allegations of financial malpractice and corruption against Jammeh.

Millions are suspected to have been hidden in the account used by Jammeh to extend the lifeline of his luxury living and paying rewards to his trusted aide.

Gambian authorities have so far discovered that Jammeh has withdrawn hundreds of millions of different government accounts, including those at the Central Bank.

Activists infer that some of the people that benefitted from the funds in the so-called National Security Account included members of the Gambia’s army that committed human rights abuses for Mr. Jammeh.

Jammeh had a special paramilitary hit-squad that tortured and killed opposition activists, rights defenders, and his perceived enemies. At least a dozen of those that conspired in these acts have been arrested since Jammeh’s ouster.

Under President Yahya Jammeh’s rule in the Gambia, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, and other human rights violations were a trademark.

Two UN special rapporteurs, who in 2014 gained access to the country for the first time, concluded that “torture is a consistent practice” by authorities and “avoiding arrest is a necessary preoccupation” for ordinary Gambians.

Human Rights Watch, an international rights watchdog, has urged Gambia government to prosecute crimes committed under country’s former dictator Yahya Jammeh.

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