Ex-President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, in his final weeks in power apparently stole millions of dollars and shipped out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, according to an aide to new president Adama Barrow.
Jammeh, who ruled the small West African country for 22 years, flew into exile late on Saturday to Equatorial Guinea.
He had refused to concede defeat after losing the presidential election in December but eventually relinquished power after a delegation of West African leaders convinced him to step down, even as troops from neighboring countries entered The Gambia.
On Sunday, hundreds of residents of Banjul, the Gambian capital cheered a military force by ECOWAS, as it entered the capital to provide security and allow the newly elected Adama Barrow, who had been in neighbouring Senegal for more than a week, to return and take power. However, amid growing controversy over the assurances offered to Jammeh to guarantee his departure, adviser to the new president, Mai Fatty has said that the new administration had discovered that millions of dollars had recently been stolen.
“The coffers are largely empty,” he told reporters. “Over two weeks, over 500m dalasi ($11 million) were withdrawn by Jammeh, he said. “As we take over, the government of The Gambia is in financial distress.”
Fatty also added that a Chadian cargo plane had transported luxury goods out of the country on Jammeh’s behalf, in his final hours in power, including an unknown number of vehicles.