U.S. seizes Maryland mansion of ex-Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh
The US Justice Department said on Thursday that a Maryland property purchased by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh through a trust set up by his wife, Zineb, has been forfeited.
The mansion cost around $3.5 million, which is thought to be a result of corruption proceeds.
Jammeh took control in a coup in 1994. After losing an election to the current president, Adama Barrow, in 2016, he was forced out and fled to Equatorial Guinea.
He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that a court-ordered judgment and forfeiture order had been issued.
According to a statement released by the Department of Justice on Thursday, the judgment was the result of a civil forfeiture case filed by the US in 2020 seeking the forfeiture of the Potomac Maryland house.
Gambia’s government on Wednesday said it accepted a recommendation by a truth and reconciliation commission that the exiled Jammeh be prosecuted for killings and other suspected crimes from his time in office.
The United States alleged that Jammeh corruptly obtained millions of dollars through the misappropriation of stolen public funds and the solicitation of bribes from businesses seeking to obtain monopoly rights over various sectors of the Gambian economy.
“The United States intends to sell the property, and recommend to the Attorney General that the net proceeds from the sale of the forfeited property be used to benefit the people of The Gambia harmed by former President Jammeh’s acts of corruption and abuse of office,” the Justice Department said on Thursday.