Gambian Treasury Says Millions of Dollars Missing After Looting

Gambia’s finance minister accused the former government of misappropriating millions of dollars from the Treasury, leaving the economy “completely destroyed.”

Money was diverted in 2014 from a Treasury account created by ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s administration in the previous year, while a withdrawal was made from a so-called Special Projects Fund last year, Finance Minister Amadou told reporters Monday in the capital, Banjul. He said an official in the presidency made some of the withdrawals and more than $5 million is missing.

“We have no indication how this money was spent,” Sanneh said.

Jammeh, who ruled Gambia for two decades after a 1994 coup, was forced into exile last month under a threat by West African leaders to remove him by force. He initially acknowledged losing a Dec. 1 presidential election, before changing his mind and trying to reverse the outcome a week later. Jammeh’s successor, Adama Barrow, was sworn in as president on Jan. 19.

Barrow’s administration has outlined plans to revive an economy that almost came to a standstill in the final years of Jammeh’s rule by investing in infrastructure and exploring for oil. The government will also seek to recover funds that went missing under the previous government, Interior Minister Mai Ahmed Fatty said at the briefing.

“We will immediately swing to action without delay and we are committed to bring back all these looted funds,” he said.

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