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City of Banjul
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Commission issues ultimatum to CBG

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By Omar Bah

The Commission of Inquiry into former President Jammeh’s assets and financial transactions has issued a one-week ultimatum for the Central Bank to produce all missing documents in the withdrawal and other transactions of the sand mining royalties account.
On Thursday, a revelation was made before the Commission of Inquiry that over a dozen of untraced payments were made from the sand mining royalties account to some ghost beneficiaries.

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Testifying before the three commissioners last Thursday, the Central Bank Principal Banking officer, Karamo Jawara said dozens of occasional withdrawal transactions were made without proper supporting documents.
He listed the following transactions which he said were made without proper supporting documents: 8/Aug/15; D4, 270, 828. 5, 5/Jun/15; D1, 764, 901.80, 11/Aug/15; D1, 176, 601. 20, 21/Oct/15; D1, 176, 601, 22/Feb/16; D1, 108, 300.60, 25/April/16; D160, 000; all paid to X-Cell Construction Company Limited.

He also added that on 22 and 23 February 2016, D1, 420, 000 was also withdrawn and paid to Competence Company Limited without proper supporting documents.
Also on 21/Sept/2014, D48, 387.50 was again withdrawn from the account and paid as tuition fees without supporting document.

Jawara said on the 12 and 22/Sept/14 D53, 300 was withdrawn and paid to the UTG also without proper supporting documents.
Adding on the 29/Oct/14, D32, 800 was also withdrawn and paid as tuition but the supporting documents could not be traced.

He said the Sand Mining Royalties account number is 1101004139 and the currency is in GMD, adding it was opened on the 17 July 2013 upon a request from the office of the president signed by Momodu Lamin Jaiteh for Secretary General and the letter was addressed to the governor of the central bank.
He said Momodou Sabally, the then Minister for presidential affairs and Secretary General, Nuha Touray secretary to the cabinet and PS 1 Ministry of regional government and lands, were the first signatories to the accounts.
He said there were changes to the signatory subsequently with Abdoulie M Sallah replacing Momodou Sabally on July 8 2014.

Jawara further recalled that later Nuha Touray replaced Abdoulie M Sallah 1/9/14 and later Isatou O Bah also replaced Nuha Touray on 16/9/14 and later Ramou Baba Njie Keita replaced Isatou O Bah on 28/12/15.
He said the opening balance was D200, 000, 800, adding the first transaction date was on the 5/9/13 and that the total deposit for the period was D30, 764, 451.

Mr Jawara added that D27, 043, 839.60 was withdrawn from the account during the period 2014 to 2016.
Mr Jawara said 90% of the amount deposited to the account was in cash payment mostly by individuals. When asked by counsel whether the CBG was questioning the sources of the money, Mr Jawara replied in the negative.
When he was further asked by Counsel Amie Bensouda whether he is aware that the Geological department is the government body responsible of supervising sand mining, Jawara said he has no document to show that the Geological Department is supposed to supervise sand mining in the Gambia.
Commission hearing resumes today.

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