U.S. announces forfeiture of former Gambian president's $3.5M Maryland property
The Justice Division on Thursday declared it has seized a Maryland home that was purchased by former Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh. File Photo by Mohammad Kheirkhah/Upi | License Picture

Could 26 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors declared Thursday the forfeiture of a Maryland home they accuse former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh of having purchased with millions of dollars obtained by way of corruption.

The Potomac, Md., home cost the previous president some $3.5 million the Justice Office mentioned was the solution of the misappropriation of stolen public money and the solicitation of bribes from organizations seeking monopoly legal rights more than sectors of the Gambian economic system.

“Maryland true estate is not a shelter for fund for corrupt rulers who have stolen from their countrymen,” U.S. Legal professional Erek Barron for the District of Maryland stated in a statement.

Jammeh arrived to the helm of Gambia at the age of 29 in a navy coup and ran the African nation until he missing the 2016 presidential election.

Just after leaving business office adhering to intercontinental tension, he fled with his family members and belongings to Equatorial Guinea, where he at the moment resides.

His presidency was marred by public corruption and human legal rights violations, with two commissions established up after he still left business office revealing he misappropriated far more than $300 million from community accounts as properly as extorted and been given tens of millions of dollars in bribes, federal prosecutors stated.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned him in 2017, freezing his U.S. property. The Gambian government experienced also taken equivalent measures from him.

The Justice Section experienced filed a civil forfeiture grievance against the house in July 2020, stating the former president had purchased it by means of a have confidence in proven by his spouse, Zineb Jammed.

In accordance to the criticism, Jammeh accumulated at the very least 281 houses throughout his time in workplace inspite of earning a wage of no more than a few thousand bucks a month and acquiring no substantial unbiased resources of income and neither him nor his wife appearing to have spouse and children wealth to describe the acquisitions.

Alongside with the houses, which had been registered in his name or in organizations and foundations he has passions in, he operated a lot more than 100 non-public bank accounts, the doc states.

“Jammeh’s sample of corruption incorporated soliciting and extorting bribes from corporations operating in The Gambia and triggering money to be withdrawn in money from The Gambia’s Central Financial institution with tiny or no paperwork to describe or justify the use of these public cash,” the criticism claimed.

Prosecutors said Jammeh would grant monopoly legal rights more than sectors of the Gambian economy, this kind of as gasoline importation and telecommunication legal rights, to enterprises in exchange for bribes and kickbacks and while the legal rights granted have been for a time period of time he would threaten to rescind except if he was specified even further bribes.

The Justice Department said in a statement that it intends to sell the house “and recommend to the legal professional general that the web proceeds from the sale of the forfeited house be used to gain the persons of The Gambia harmed by former President Jammeh’s acts of corruption and abuse of energy.”

The announcement came a working day following the govt of Gambian President Adama Barrow claimed it options to prosecute Jammeh.