Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars before fleeing the country

Published: 10:42 GMT, Jan 23, 2017 |

Yahya Jammeh, exiled Gambian ruler, stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president said Sunday.

Meanwhile, a regional military force rolled in, greeted by cheers, to secure this tiny West African nation so that democratically elected President Adama Barrow could return home. He remained in neighboring Senegal, where he took the oath of office Thursday because of concerns for his safety.

Underscoring the challenges facing the new administration, Fatty confirmed that Jammeh made off with more than $11.4 million during a two-week period alone. That is only what they have discovered so far since Jammeh and his family took an offer of exile after more than 22 years in power and departed late Saturday.

Barrow will now begin forming a Cabinet and working with Gambia’s national assembly to reverse the state of emergency Jammeh declared in his final days in power, said Halifa Sallah, spokesman for the coalition backing the new leader.

The president’s official residence, State House, needs to be cleared of any possible hazards before Barrow arrives, Sallah added.