$3.5 Million Potomac Home of Ex President Jammeh Forfeited to US Govt

Ex President Jammeh Multi Million Dollar Mansion in Potomac, Maryland

The $3.5 million multimillion dollar home of ex Gambian President Jammeh in the wealthy Washington DC neighborhood of Potomac has been forfeited to the US government by a US court in the state of Maryland.

In July, the US Government filed a lawsuit  in the U.S. District Court of Maryland seeking the forfeiture of the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home at Bentcross Drive, Potomac, Maryland costing more than $3.5M

Early Sunday, media reports said a judge in Maryland delivered the judgement in favor of the US department of justice against  Yahya Jammeh after months of legal action against the former Gambian leader, who currently lives in Exile in Equatorial Guinea.

“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 petroleum, telecommunications and other sectors of the Gambian economy, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a news release during the court proceedings.

Public records in the US  reveal the home was sold for $3.5 million in 2010 to the Jammeh family trust by basketball star Calbert Cheaney, who previously played for the Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards.)

In addition, the release claims that Jammeh, 56, “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.”

The lawsuit says that during the latter years of Jammeh’s presidency, his annual salary was no more than $65,000 in U.S. dollars.

The complaint cites a nine-volume report released last year by Gambia’s Ministry of Justice that concludes Jammeh lacked the income to support his lavish lifestyle and “wasted, misappropriated, diverted or simply stole” the equivalent of more than $300 million from public accounts.

On Dec. 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Jammeh stemming from human rights abuses committed by his regime.

According to that press release:
“Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him.

During Jammeh’s tenure, he ordered the Junglers to kill a local religious leader, journalists, members of the political opposition, and former members of the government, among others.

Throughout his presidency, Jammeh routinely ordered the abuse and murder of those he suspected of undermining his authority.”

Robert K. Hur, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland said in the Justice Department’s news release then. “The United States will not allow criminals to profit from their crimes and will seek justice for crime victims both here and abroad.”

Neither Jammeh nor the trust appears to have retained an attorney to represent them; as of Aug. 4, and none were listed in the case docket.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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