How $45 million flowed out of Gambia’s reserve bank to Yahya Jammeh

How $45 million flowed out of Gambia’s reserve bank to Yahya Jammeh

At least $45 million (D1.98 billion dalasis) from dollar accounts at the Gambia’s Central Bank were used by the country’s former self-serving ruler to fund his life of luxury, a Commission investigating his financial transactions uncovered.

Between 2014 and 2015, Jammeh sent his aides, mostly his Chief of Protocol, Sanna Jarju to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars, at least two to three times a day, emptying the bank’s vault.

The reserves bank is sometimes left with no money and money coming in from the telecommunication’s international gateway termination fees were used by Jammeh even before they hit the state’s account.

Several accounts were over drafted to meet Jammeh’s demands and the bank was forced to raise treasury bills to stabilize the situation, according to Central Bank Principal Banking Officer, Karamo Jawara.

Most of the $45 million came from an account on which Yahya Jammeh was the only signatory. It put the bank out of compliance with withdrawal guidelines for government run accounts.

Jammeh’s aides frequently collected money from the Central Bank at the president’s request and returned to State House with bags filled with cash in $10,000 bundles.

Jammeh’s spending hinted at his riches. He had a fleet of black Rolls Royce limousines whose headrests carry his name embroidered in dark thread and a house in Maryland.
managed to ship some of his cars out of the country while fleeing to Equatorial Guinea and ransacked government accounts withdrawing at least $50 million.

Jawara told the Commission that the ex-leader took $2.1 million from the bank and according to records, the sum was meant to buy tents for use by the Mr. Jammeh.

His assets have been frozen by the Gambia’s Justice Department, leading to the seizure of more than 160 landed properties, 95 bank accounts, and some 47 companies.

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