Gambia goes after Jammeh’s luxury US home

APA-Banjul (The Gambia)

The Gambia has confirmed it was approaching Washington with a request to impound former president Yahya Jammeh’s luxury estate in the United States.

Aside from The Gambia, Jammeh is believed to own a series of properties around the world including in the United States, Morocco, a $50 million Dubai home, and a luxury residence in France used by his wife Zeinab.

Justice minister Abubakar Tambadou told journalists on Wednesday that the government has held talks with US officials with a view to recovering Jammeh’s multi-million dollar Potomac residence in Maryland which he bought over seven years ago.

Minister Tambadou said he had consulted with the US ambassador in Banjul over the issue but stopped short of indicating whether progress has been made to that end.

“I believe I heard information that the US house belonging to Jammeh was frozen. I’m involved in exchanges with ambassador Paschal and we’ve been working on this” he said when quizzed on the issue by reporters.

Since Jammeh controversially lost power two years ago, his predecessor Adama Barrow had introduced a series of measures to recover his allegedly ‘illicit wealth’ both in and outside the country.

With this in mind Banjul had approached several other countries where the former president may have acquired properties but the Justice minister refrained from naming the governments being exercised over the matter.

Tambadou however underlined the sensitivity of tracking and recovering properties linked to the former Gambian leader who lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea. “With other Jammeh properties, tracking and recovery is a very sensitive matter and people have the ability to move assets around the world…I am not at liberty to disclose the nature or the identity of those governments otherwise I risk endangering the process of recovery because those assets could be moved quickly” he explained.

He said since the properties being pursued are on foreign soil and subjected to their laws, their recovery will have to depend on the goodwill of the governments involved.

The Gambia government last year secured an injunction from the country's high court to pursue assets and properties linked to the former leader.

His properties in The Gambia have been impounded.


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