The United States has announced economic sanctions on Zineb Jammeh, the wife of former Gambia President Yahya Jammeh.
The US Department of State, in a statement on Tuesday, said Zineb is believed to control many of the overseas assets of her husband who was referred to as “notoriously corrupt.”
She is believed to utilize a charitable foundation and charities as cover to facilitate the illicit transfer of funds to her husband.
“The United States uses economic sanctions to promote accountability for those who assist or facilitate the corruption carried out by those like Yahya Jammeh, who abuse their positions of power for their own personal gain,” the statement said.
Jammeh himself was designated by the U.S. in December 2018 “due to his involvement in significant corruption.” At the time, Zineb and their children, Mariam Jammeh, and Muhammad Yahya Jammeh, were also designated.
In 2017 Jammeh stepped down from office after 22 years and fled into exile following pressure from West African armies which entered Gambia to force him to recognize he was defeated by Adama Barrow in the presidential election.
Barrow’s government subsequently accused Jammeh of stealing $11.4 million, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane in his last week of power.
The statement said: “Today, the United States imposed economic sanctions on Zineb Souma Yahya Jammeh, the former first lady of The Gambia. Zineb Jammeh is believed to control many of the overseas assets of her husband, Yahya Jammeh, the notoriously corrupt former leader of The Gambia, who was sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury in 2017. In addition, the State Department designated Zineb Jammeh in December 2018 under Section 7031(c) of the annual appropriations bill as an immediate family member of Yahya Jammeh, who was concurrently designated for his involvement in significant corruption. Their children are also ineligible for entry into the United States as a result of the 2018 designation.
“Zineb Jammeh is designated for her role in materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing support to her husband. She utilized a charitable foundation and charities as cover to facilitate the illicit transfer of funds to her husband.
“This action designates Zineb Jammeh pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The United States uses economic sanctions to promote accountability for those who assist or facilitate the corruption carried out by those like Yahya Jammeh, who abuse their positions of power for their own personal gain.”
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