A Gambian business tycoon with suspected strong ties to Gambia’s ousted ruler Yahya Jammeh has been named as one of the ex-authoritarian ruler’s closest associates.
Amadou Samba was named for the first time since the Commission of Inquiring investigating Jammeh’s financial dealings started hearing of the monetary crimes committed by the then president.
Jammeh had called Mr. Samba his manager and had own major shares in companies in which Jammeh had interest in. He had also businesses with Muhammed Bazzi, a known Jammeh business partner.
Last month, Samba denied being arrested in neighboring Senegal and refuted reports of an alleged meeting with former First Lady Zineb Jammeh.
Authorities revoked the diplomatic passports of at least 270 former civil service officials, including that of Jammeh and his family following the reports of the alleged meeting.
The businessman denied having knowledge of any of Jammeh’s wealth and assets outside The Gambia, although some of Mr. Jammeh’s businesses are registered under Samba.
He tried distancing himself from Jammeh as his business partner following the ex- strongman’s election defeat by his opposition rival Adama Barrow and rebutted reports that he has nearly a billion dollars stashed in tax heavens, as seen in the Panama Papers.
The Commission is yet to hear of Samba’s business dealings with Mr. Jammeh but a company that Samba had shares in, Euro-Africa Group is reportedly owed $65 million by Nawec due to shady deals spearheaded by Jammeh.