US to seize $3.5 million corrupt wealth traced to former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

The US government said is seeking to confiscate $3.5 million illicit wealth traced to the ex-president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, through a trust set up by his wife, Zineb Jammeh.

The Department of Justice said in a 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.”

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“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.”

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