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US authorities to seize exiled Gambian dictator’s mansion

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US authorities to seize exiled Gambian dictator’s mansion

US authorities to seize exiled Gambian dictator’s mansion

Ex President of Gambian, Yahya Jammeh used bribery proceeds and diverted government funds to buy a house in a Washington , D.C. suburb, according to U.S. prosecutors in a lawsuit seeking to seize the property.

The long-time leader of the West African nation schemed to embezzle nearly $3.5 million in “corruption profits” by buying a luxury home in Potomac, Maryland, the Department of Justice said in a civil forfeiture lawsuit.

Jammeh was 29 in a military coup in 1994, when he took over. He controlled Gambia for over 22 years. He and his aunt, Zineb Jammeh, fled into exile in Equatorial Guinea following his defeat to Adama Barrow in a presidential election in December 2016.

According to the civil complaint from the Justice Department, Jammeh acquired at least 281 properties during his time in office and operated more than 100 private bank accounts directly or through companies or foundations in which he holds shares or an interest.

“Neither Jammeh nor his wife Zineb seem to have family resources to justify how he got those properties,” says the complaint.

The couple’s kids attended schools in the Washington area after the family bought the Potomac mansion for $3.5 million in 2010 in the name of a trust, the lawsuit claims. An employee of a petroleum corporation allegedly agreed to deposit around $1 million in cash into an account for that trust less than a month before the property sale, the complaint says.

One day after the petroleum firm received a “re-affirmation” of its fuel import monopoly rights in Gambia, the complaint says, the unidentified employee opened a bank account in the trust ‘s name.

“This action indicates that the United States does not encourage offenders to take advantage of their crimes, and will seek justice for victims of crime here and abroad,” U.S. In a quote, Prosecutor Robert Hur said.

Jammeh was not charged with any crimes in the U.S. but the report from the Justice Department states that a quasi-judicial commission set up by the Gambian government recommended criminal charges against the former President.

The commission said Jammeh wasted out of public accounts or stole the equivalent of more than $300 million in U.S. dollars. Jammeh also took bribes and kickbacks in exchange for granting companies monopoly rights over Gambian economic sectors, the complaint states.

A report by an investigative organization called the Organized Crime and Corruption Monitoring Project in March 2019 said Jammeh and his associates looted nearly $ 1 billion in timber wealth and public funds from Gambia.

In 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Jammeh, saying that he “has a long history of serious human rights abuse and corruption.”

“Jammeh formed a terror and murder squad named the Junglers, who answered him directly,” a news release from the Treasury Department says. “Jammeh used the Junglers to intimidate, terrorize, interrogate and kill people Jammeh considered threats.

Hossana C. Infozer, you can link up with me via social media platforms @officialinfozer.

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