(JollofNews)-President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has again declared a prominent Lebanese businessman and investor accused by the United States of supporting terrorism persona non grata and demands his soonest possible departure from the country.
Hussein Tajudeen (also known as Tajideen by the US Government), co-owner of Tajco, parent company of the Gambia’s biggest shopping centre, Kairaba Shopping Centre, was given the red card by the Jammeh regime on Wednesday morning, which accused him, his family and business associates of taking part in ‘unacceptable’ business practices that are detrimental to the Gambian economy.
A statement from the Office of the President read on state television, GRTS, said Mr Tajudeen was asked to leave Banjul within 72 hours or face deportation.
Mr Tajudeen was also given 30 days to shut down all his businesses in the country including the grand Kairaba Shopping Centre.
This is Mr Tajudeen’s second expulsion from the West African country. He was first sent packing in June 2013 by President Jammeh after being accused of taking part in ‘undesirable’ business activities which have very serious health and economic consequences to the people and Government of the Gambia.
Although Mr Jammeh had vowed at the time to come down heavily on ‘greedy and unscrupulous businessmen’ like Mr Tajudeen, ‘who are just after their profit margins and not the welfare and well-being of the consumers to operate in the country’, he made a u-turn four months later and rescinded Mr Tajudeen’s persona non grata.
Mr Tajudeen is one of the main importers of rice, flour and other basic commodities in the Gambia. His Tajco Company provided employment opportunities for hundreds of Gambians.
In 2013, the Kairaba Shopping Centre and its parent company Tajco were accused by the US Government of forming part of a multinational network which generates funds for the Lebanese movement Hezbollah.
US investigators believed that Mr Tajudeen and associates used their lucrative and cash-rich food import and supermarket business to generate revenues, create smoke and mirrors, and launder money from other activities.