Jammeh withdrew $2.4M to buy private presidential jet

Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh had withdrawn $2.4 million (D105.6 million dalasis) to buy a Boeing 757 private plane in 2011 through a company he had interest in.

Jammeh transferred the money from the country’s reserve bank to a company headed by his business associate, Fadi George Mazagi of Global Trading Group.

The Global Trading Group is the same company that Mr. Jammeh used to buy at least 32 vehicles from Belgium for $660,000 dollars, according to the disclosures at a Commission probing Jammeh.

Jammeh had been taking millions from the bank to fuel his flamboyant lifestyle. Although The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa, Jammeh wanted to match the luxury status of other African leaders.

At least four private planes belonging to the former ruler have been impounded by Gambian authorities. The country is expected to make at least D471 Million dalasis ($11.8 million dollars) from the sale of the planes, which includes a Russian-made VIP presidential jet.

Jammeh was defeated in the polls by his opposition rival, Adama Barrow and refused to cede power after first accepting defeat. West African troops forced him to flee to Equatorial Guinea.

The World Bank has thrown its muscle behind Gambian authorities in their bid to recover at least $50 million dollars stolen by ex-President Yahya Jammeh before fleeing.

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