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Commission of Inquiry into shady financial dealings of ex-dictator Jammeh told of mining money theft

BANJUL, Aug. 11 (The Gambia Daily News), The Gambia's Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the financial dealings of the former president Yahya Jammeh has commenced its first public hearing on Thursday with heavy allegations on financial transactions as four managers of corporate institutions testified.

The Chairman of the Commission Surahatta Semega Janneh said the purpose of conducting the hearing public is to ensure transparency.

"We are established to look into the assets and financial transactions of the former president and associates when he was acting as the president of The Gambia," he said.

Amie Bensouda, lead counsel for the Commission said funds have been withdrawn under the instructions of the former president, and that they wanted to know whether due process was followed in the withdrawal of these funds.

Testifying first, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Gambia Limited Bolaji Ayodele said the Alhamdulilah Petroleum and Mineral Company (APAM) were holding both a dollar and dalasi accounts in their bank.

"In the dollar account, the sum of 660,377.45 U.S. dollars was deposited," he said.

Momodou Musa Njie, Managing Director of the First International Bank also confirmed that the same company had an account in his bank with both dalasi and dollar accounts.

"In respect to the dollar account, the sum of 27,000 dollars and four cent was deposited and the depositors intimated to the bank that they were involved in sand Mining,"he said.

However, the Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority, Yankuba Darboe told the Commission that his institution was not involved into the Tax Recovery Accounts of both FIB and Guaranty Trust Bank respectively.

Sand mining was evident in the country under the ex-president and the income from it was never mentioned as part of country's budget.

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