Gambia’s Central Bank Account Intact, Barrow’s Spokesman Says

Channels Television  
Updated January 24, 2017

gambia-currencyA spokesman for the president of Gambia has said that the nation’s central bank deposits are “intact”, a day after the new leader, Adama Barrow, said there was no money left in the state coffers.

Barrow said on Sunday that it appeared his exiled predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, had looted state resources after his election defeat.

A Barrow adviser later said Jammeh had withdrawn the equivalent of over $11.5 million before he flew out of the country as West African troops were poised to remove him.

That amount would represent 1.2 per cent of Gambia’s 2015 GDP, according to World Bank figures.

“There had been information to the public about the central bank. It was of particular concern but the inspector general (of) police told me that everything is intact,” Reuters quoted Halifa Sallah as saying at a news conference in Gambia’s capital Banjul.

It was not immediately clear if Barrow and his adviser, Mai Ahmad Fatty, had been referring to central bank funds or other state resources. Fatty could not be reached for clarification.

According to Reuters, Jammeh is believed to have acquired a vast fortune, including a fleet of Rolls-Royces and an estate in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C during his rule.

Reports say luxury cars and other items were seen being loaded onto a Chadian cargo plane on the night Mr Jammeh left the country.

The veteran leader, who had refused to hand over power after his defeat in December’s election, flew out of Gambia late on Saturday en route to Equatorial Guinea after negotiations backed by regional military pressure.

But even before the cheers to celebrate Jammeh’s departure had died down, there was dismay that the former soldier was being allowed to flee into luxurious exile and might hold onto his fortune.

Mr Barrow had said that over 11 million dollars was missing from the Gambia’s state coffers.

An Adviser to President Adama Barrow, Mai Ahmad Fatty, also said financial experts were trying to evaluate the exact loss.