The Alkamba Times continues to deepen its investigations into the reported D155 million badly damaged banknotes deposited, and D11.1 million in bribe money allegedly given to Abdou Ceesay of the Central Bank of The Gambia.
It would be recalled that both the Central Bank authorities and Gambian police announced separate investigations into the matter after TAT broke the news on Wednesday 16th February 2022.
The Bank in a press release dated 17 February 2022 assured the central government and general public that it takes these allegations against its staff “very seriously, and will take all available means to deploy a full investigation into the matter; and, anyone found culpable will face the full force of the law.”
The Gambia Police Force issued a press release dated 19 February 2022, following what it called a “preliminary police Investigation” conducted by its fraud investigation unit, which was also in response to our publication.
When TAT report came out, both national authorities launched probes; as evident from the contents of their press releases, which were issued within 24 and 48 hours respectively giving their reactions to our report.
Apparently, because the initial investigations were not thorough enough, observers have noted many gaps and are now poking many holes in the written public statements from both public institutions. Consequently, this has raised suspicions of attempts at a Bank and police cover-up.
As our investigations intensify and deepen, it is clear that the reported findings from the suspected clearly superficial Bank and police investigations raised more questions than answers.
In TAT’s ongoing investigations, our findings from the Attorney General’s Chambers disclosed that “Jamma Charitable Foundation”, which the police claimed Ansumana Bah and partners formed, “is grossly misleading and utterly false”.
“There is no charitable foundation registered in the country that is called Jamma Charitable Foundation. The only foundation that goes with the name tag ‘Jamma’ is only one foundation called ‘Jamma Children’s Foundation’ established in 2020.”
This information is contrary to the preliminary police investigation report that assumes that Jamma Charitable Foundation is a registered charity in The Gambia.
Moreover, the preliminary police investigation report failed to name the members of what it calls “an organized criminal group”, to name the “fraudsters” and “scammers” and also failed to disclose the names or partners of Ansumana Bah or any member(s) of the claimed Jamma Charitable Foundation.
The Alkamba Times has contacted one Haruna Sanyang, co-founder of the Jamma Children’s Foundation, who has since distanced his organization from Bah.
Sanyang told TAT that Ansumana Bah is not a member nor a volunteer in his foundation.
Now, unlike his reported arrest and confession in the hands of the police, our investigations further revealed that Ansumana Bah had voluntarily walked into the Solie Law Chambers, where he voluntarily submitted all the required information to lawyer Lamin Ceesay, to take up his complaint against Abdou Ceesay of the Central Bank.
Furthermore, our continuing probe also revealed that Abdou Ceesay reportedly confessed to all the allegations brought against him by Solie Law Chambers, during a management meeting at the Bank held on the 16th of February, 2022, where he was handed a copy of the letter dated 10 February 2022 from the Solie law firm, which was received by the Bank Governor.
Our investigations revealed that the reported D155 million damaged banknotes entered the Central Bank in November 2021, and its presence became known when some Bank staff raised the alarm, after not being given their share of the D11.1 million bribery money; and that this prompted Bank management to engage Abdou Ceesay and his alleged accomplices at the Bank.
One source at the Bank told TAT that fake banknotes are being deposited at the Central Bank, but the “preliminary police investigations” report failed to indicate or mentioned whether a search was conducted at the Bank to ascertain the presence of fake monies mixed with real banknotes.
In yet another finding, TAT has been informed that the Inspector General of Police, Abdoulie Sanyang, and the Governor of the Central Bank, Buah Saidy, “are very close associates”; and that some of the Bank staff mentioned in the matter “run errands for the Governor and were moved newly to the Central Bank”; some being former colleagues of Buah Saidy during his time as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance in Banjul.
“IGP Sanyang and Governor Saidy are very good friends, and both had knowledge of the scandal but failed to act,” a senior Bank official told The Alkamba Times.
Our sources further alleged that both Sanyang and Saidy are “running a joint consultancy firm and hugely benefiting from government contracts, and the firm is run by relatives and friends of the top government officials.”
TAT made frantic efforts to verify these allegations, but both the Governor and IGP will not reply to messages.
Alkamba Times continues to probe into the Central Bank scandal, believed to involve as many as 18 Bank staff plus two IMF Banjul office employees – although the IMF country representative, Momodou Barry, has denied that any of his staff are involved.
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