Jam­meh ‘looted mil­lions’ from state cof­fers

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

AF­TER the dra­matic de­par­ture of Yahya Jam­meh, the for­mer pres­i­dent of Gam­bia, fol­low­ing the mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion of the Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African States, it has been re­ported that he looted the state’s cof­fers be­fore his forced evac­u­a­tion.

More than $11 mil­lion (nearly R149m) is miss­ing, an ad­viser to pres­i­dent elect Adama Bar­row, Mai Ah­mad Fatty said, adding that fi­nan­cial ex­perts were eval­u­at­ing the ex­act loss.

“The cof­fers are vir­tu­ally empty. It has been con­firmed by tech­ni­cians in the min­istry of fi­nance and the Cen­tral Bank of the Gam­bia.”

Fancy cars and other lux­ury goods had been seen be­ing loaded on to a Cha­dian cargo plane on the night Jam­meh left the coun­try, the BBC re­ported yes­ter­day.

This was de­spite Gam­bia’s main air­port be­ing given strict in­struc­tions to pre­vent Jam­meh from tak­ing per­sonal be­long­ings on his de­par­ture. Re­ports are fil­ter­ing in that the for­mer dic­ta­tor may be in Equa­to­rial Guinea.

Jam­meh, who came into power fol­low­ing a 1994 mil­i­tary coup, re­peat­edly re­fused to hand power over to Bar­row.

Bar­row re­mains in neigh­bour­ing Sene­gal, where he was in­au­gu­rated last Thurs­day and where he, like thou­sands of other Gam­bians, fled fol­low­ing the stand-off. It is un­cer­tain when he will re­turn.

The new pres­i­dent has vowed to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of hu­man rights abuses dur­ing Jam­meh’s time in of­fice. – ANA

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