The US justice department has accused former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, of having used funds obtained from bribes, and embezzled public funds, to buy a mansion in a Washington when he was in power. There are reportedly documents proving that Jammeh bought the $3.5m house through a trust set up by his wife Zineb Jammeh.
In a civil forfeiture complaint, the US Justice Department said that Jammeh had contrived to launder $3.5 million in “corruption proceeds” through the purchase of a lavish home in Potomac, Maryland. US authorities are seeking to seize the property.
Africa News reports that Jammeh acquired more than 280 properties during his time in office, in addition to operating more than 100 private bank accounts, directly or through companies and foundations.
While Jammeh has not been charged in the US, the Justice Department complaint noted the Gambian government recommended criminal charges against him. The commission set up by the government of The Gambia said Jammeh wasted or stole the equivalent of more than $300 million from public accounts. Jammeh has also been accused of having accepted bribes and kickbacks from businesses to grant them monopoly rights. In March, an investigative group called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project said Jammeh and his associates looted nearly $1 billion in timber resources from the country.
The US Treasury in 2017 announced sanctions against Jammeh, citing his “long history of engaging in serious human rights abuses and corruption.” He and his wife, Zineb Jammeh, fled into exile in Equatorial Guinea after he lost a presidential election to Adama Barrow in 2016.
Umm Muhammed Umar