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 Proceeds Linked to Ex-President of The Gambia

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Momodou Posted - 17 Jul 2020 : 08:42:00
Yaya Jammeh and his henchmen are safer in The Gambia than they are in America and Europe

The Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking the forfeiture of a Maryland property acquired with approximately $3,500,000 in corruption proceeds by the ex-president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, through a trust set up by his wife, Zineb Jammeh.

by Sidi Sanneh

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Department of Justice Seeks Recovery of Approximately $3.5 Million in Corruption Proceeds Linked to Ex-President of The Gambia

The Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking the forfeiture of a Maryland property acquired with approximately $3,500,000 in corruption proceeds by the ex-president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, through a trust set up by his wife, Zineb Jammeh.

According to the complaint, Yahya Jammeh corruptly obtained millions of dollars through the embezzlement of public funds and the solicitation of bribes from businesses seeking to obtain monopoly rights over various sectors of the Gambian economy. The complaint further alleges that Yahya Jammeh conspired with his family members and close associates to utilize a host of shell companies and overseas trusts to launder his corrupt proceeds throughout the world, including through the purchase of a multimillion-dollar mansion in Potomac, Maryland, which the United States seeks to forfeit through the filing of the civil forfeiture complaint.

“Yahya Jammeh is a former president of The Gambia who allegedly plundered hundreds of millions of dollars from his country and laundered part of those funds to corruptly acquire real estate in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt. “Our action today highlights the tireless work of the Criminal Division’s Kleptocracy Initiative and their global law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system and recover the ill-gotten gains of corrupt officials.”

“Ex-Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and his wife thought that they could hide funds stolen from the Gambian people by buying a mansion in Potomac, Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland. “This action demonstrates that the United States will not allow criminals to profit from their crimes and will seek justice for crime victims both here and abroad.”

“The seizure of this property is just another example of our continued efforts to protect the U.S. financial infrastructure by denying a safe haven for foreign kleptocrats,” said Acting Executive Associate Director Alysa Erichs of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “HSI will not tolerate our country being used by foreign officials to hide their corrupt activities and launder their illicit proceeds.”

The investigation was conducted by HSI’s Illicit Proceeds and Foreign Corruption Group in Miami, with the assistance of the HSI Office of the Special Agent in Charge for Baltimore and the HSI Attaché Office in Dakar. HSI established this group in 2003 to conduct investigations into the laundering of proceeds emanating from foreign public corruption, bribery and embezzlement. HSI’s goal is to prevent foreign-derived, ill-gotten gains from entering the U.S. financial infrastructure.

The case is being handled by Trial Attorneys Steven Parker and Kaycee Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Wine for the District of Maryland. Substantial assistance was provided by the government of The Gambia and Michael Quinley of the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training.

HSI Miami Illicit Proceeds and Foreign Corruption Investigations Group was established in 2003 to target corrupt foreign officials around the world that attempt to utilize U.S. financial institutions to launder illicit funds. Since inception, the group has seized over $500 million in ill-gotten gains traced to foreign corruption. To report suspicious activity, reach out to your local HSI office or call 1-866-347-2423.

Read the rest here:
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Momodou Posted - 10 Sep 2020 : 22:46:58

Breaking News
Jammeh against the world not only Gambia

The damning case of the United States against Yaya Jammeh

Yaya Jammeh has taken refuge in Equatorial Guinea since he was stripped of power. But, the Usa don't forget that. The District of Maryland Prosecutor's Office has filed a case where its system of enrichment, focused on bribes and extortion, was exposed.

Transactions hidden in his daughter's account

In its document reviewed by iGfm, the District of Maryland Prosecutor's Office does not overwhelm Jammeh alone. Zineb. His wife "has been implicated in the theft and embezzlement of public funds used to support his luxurious lifestyle," the magistrates say. Indeed, the family used several private bank accounts to transfer the money. Among them is the Mariam Yahya Jammeh Family Trust or “Myj family Trust” account, housed at Trust Bank Limited in The Gambia. Jammeh and his wife claimed it was their daughter's bank account. And it was Zineb, his wife, who created the said account in September 2009.

Then, the one that the Americans nicknamed "Businessman No. 1" came into play. He owned a company importing petroleum products. He had paid or facilitated the payment of “bribes, directly to Jammeh, totaling over $ 9,000,000”. Indeed, inform the Americans, Jammeh had granted it monopoly rights on imports of petroleum products into The Gambia. And he, too, introduced a "second businessman" to the deposed dictator. The latter provided telephone and internet services after buying state

281 properties, 100 bank accounts ...

The Americans, who have scrutinized Jammeh's past, report that the ex-president was a simple lieutenant in the Gambian army where he received a minimum salary. Having become president, Jammeh's official monthly salary rose to 911 Usd per month in January 2006, 1,492 dollars per month in January 2007 and 3,295 dollars per month from January 2008 to December 2014. But, reveal the Americans, during his tenure, Jammeh has accumulated at least 281 land holdings known and registered in its name, or through its companies and foundations. He owns shares or interests and uses over 100 private bank accounts directly or through companies or foundations.

And yet, note the prosecutor's office in Maryland, "neither Jammeh nor his wife Zineb appear to have any family patrimony to explain how he acquired these assets." The question that arises is how Jammeh was able to collect such wealth? The Americans report that the former president had deployed an extremely sophisticated system of corruption, which "consisted in soliciting and extorting bribes from companies operating in The Gambia and withdrawing cash funds from the Central Bank of Gambia."

Threat-based extortion system

“For example, Jammeh has granted monopoly rights to companies over lucrative sectors of the Gambian economy such as importing fuel and telecoms in return for bribes. Jammeh periodically and repeatedly threatened to cancel these rights to their beneficiaries unless these companies paid him further bribes. " And that's what happened with the No.1 businessman's petroleum import company. In July 2010, the latter was informed that his monopoly on fuel imports into The Gambia would cease at the end of 2010. He asked Jammeh to issue a letter confirming the maintenance of his monopoly until 2014.

Then, on August 10, 2010, the oil company transferred the equivalent of $ 1,000,000 to the Jammeh's account. "On the same day, August 10, 2010, businessman No. 1 received a letter from Mustapha Yarbo, a Gambian official who is part of the presidential staff of Jammeh, confirming the maintenance of monopoly rights", informs the prosecution. by maryland. And 2011, Jammeh also received payments from the number 2 businessman's telecom company. Because, after a quarrel, Jammeh had put the latter's activities on hold. But, in 2011, he agreed to allow businessman # 2 to resume operations, under a new contract.

Public funds for personal use

"And Jammeh's cabinet had given instructions for the payment" of all future sums due to the Gambian government into a new bank account opened at the Central Bank (...) Bank statements show that $ 5,026,805 has been deposited into this account. Jammeh then proceeded to spend these funds for his personal use. " Between June 2011 and January 2013, the oil company and its leaders paid or facilitated the payment of more than $ 7,514,000 million in the form of bribes to Jammeh, ”the document states.

And to buy his mansion located in Maryland, USA, these are the kinds of processes that Jammeh set in motion. Indeed, says the US prosecution, a day after the oil company received a reaffirmation of its monopoly rights to import fuel, an employee of the company transferred $ 1,000,000 in the Myj account at Trust Bank Ltd . Then, around August 18, 2010, this million dollar was transferred from the Myj Family Trust account to that of the real estate company located in Maryland.

In total, operations to finance the purchase of the property included aggregate of approximately $ 3,562,610. And on September 20, 2010, the property was purchased for $ 3,500,000, plus $ 62,610 in administration fees.

The Americans, have currently launched a legal action for the confiscation of all the rights, titles and interests on this property. "The defendant's property was acquired with the proceeds of illicit bribes and stolen public funds embezzled by the former President of The Gambia, YAHYA," they said.

Source: Sulayman Ben Suwareh FB page

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