Gambia: Yaya Jammeh quoted in a case of timber trafficking in Casamance

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On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, the organized consortium "crime and corruption reporting project (OCCRP)", founded in 2006, composed of investigative centres, media and journalists specializing in organized crime and corruption, published a report on the Gambia , reporting widespread corruption within the State apparatus during the administration of President Jammeh.

The report of this survey called "forest trends" revealed that the fallen gamwell President reportedly stole 500 billion FCFA from his country. According to the same report, the Casamance was also the victim of the financial carnage of Yaya Jammeh who looted his forest, through a traffic of Vene wood to China. The damage suffered is estimated at nearly 325.5 million, or more than 162 billion FCFA between 2010 and 2016.

The Gambia exported some hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Vene timber. It was following a mafia system orchestrated by Jammeh who forged a criminal partnership with two Romanian Nicolae and Dragos Buzaianu who had a monopoly on timber exports. 

"Liberation", which gives the information, stresses that the timber was cut in Senegal before being transported to the Gambia. From there it was exported to China. The newspaper reveals that with Jammeh, the MFDC (the movement of democratic forces of Casamance), has taken advantage of the timber trade. Indeed, the rebel movement reportedly fired 19.5 million million (9.7 billion FCFA) from the illegal timber trade between 2010 and 2014, according to a report by forest trends, an American environmental charitable organization. Jammeh and his associates became co-owners of a forest company, West wood Gambia.

The movement of democratic forces of Casamance (MFDC), which benefited from the illegal timber trade, received its share of the cake. The rebel movement reportedly casted 19.5 million million, or more than 9 billion FCFA, between 2010 and 2014.

According to the OCCRP, former Gamba President Yahya Jammeh would have orchestrated the diversion of over 975 million million in public funds and illicit proceeds from timber during his 22 years of Government. All lucrative sectors or financial institutions, such as the Central Bank of the Gambia in the amount of 71.2 million USD, the State structure of pension management and social security at height e 60 million, the telecommunication company for 363.9 million; or the national oil company up to 55.2 million; had been targeted.

These funds diverted to avoid traceability were sent to foreign screen companies without real existence or attributed to companies that have obtained exceptionally lucrative contracts. The man supported by these diverging a life-course completely in phase out with the economic situation of the country. In his native village, Jammeh would have built private mosque, sumptuous Villa, wildlife park with rare and exotic species, and a modern military training camp, conclude investigators.

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik

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