The Gambia will take over all assets and companies belonging to former President Yahya Jammeh and close associate, Muhammed Bazzi, the government announced Wednesday.
Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told a news conference the state will take “all companies and their respective assets belonging to former President Yahya Jammeh upon the expiration on 17 June 2019 of the freezing order of the High Court” and there would be an “immediate forfeiture to the state of all monies, all frozen commercial bank accounts in the Gambia.”
According to Anadolu Agency, assets belonging to the former ruler have already been frozen by the High Court until June 17.
Jammeh ruled Gambia for 22 years but lost an election in December 2016, after which he fled to Equatorial Guinea.
An inquiry into his finances and his associates found he embezzled $362.2 million and amassed millions of dollars in properties and businesses in and outside the country.
The inquiry has been ready and sent to President Adama Barrow.
Tambadou said it is currently being reviewed.
The actions against Bazzi and Jammeh, Tambadou said, are interim measures.
Bazzi is a Lebanese business tycoon with business interests in the country’s energy sector. He has been categorized by U.S. as a Hezbollah terrorist financier.
By Mustapha K Darboe