Britain has affirmed its support for Gambia`s new government and its efforts to track down stolen and misappropriate assets, this development came weeks after the country`s new administration say the scale of looting by former President Jammeh, was much higher than previously thought and left the country with $1billion debt.
Speaking from the floor of the House of Commons (Parliament), in response to a question from Liz McInnes, Shadow Minister for Africa, on what steps his government are taking to help track down any missing assets, including any that might have ended up in the UK, and to make sure that any proceeds of corruption are returned to the Gambia without delay.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told MPs” President Barrow has indicated that he would like the UK to be the Gambia`s principal partner of choice in tackling corruption in that country and putting Gambia back on an even keel. We are doing everything we can to support the Gambia`s judicial system.”
He added “when I recently visited the Gambia, there were crowds in the streets dancing because they are delighted that the Gambia is being welcome back into the Commonwealth. I can say that their joy was unconfined.”
Ms McInnes also applaud the positive political development in the Gambia.”Am sure the whole House will welcome the recent political development in The Gambia. The authorities are already investigating allegations that the former President smuggled millions of dollars worth of assets out of the country before his departure.”she said
Alieu Badara Ceesay of CHRG-UK, said “We will seek cross party support in the House of Commons (Parliament) to ensure that these stolen assets are returned to the people of the Gambia. Former President Jammeh and all those involved in this theft will be pursued with their ill gotten wealth”
The Government of United Kingdom recently tabled in Parliament, new powers to stop “blood stained dictators” and despots from laundering their money through the UK, by freezing their assets.
The Government`s proposal which brought forward an amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill, will expand the scope of proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to include instances of gross human rights abuses and violations.
Security Minister Ben Wallace warned “This measure will send a clear statement that the UK will not stand by and allow those who have committed gross abuse or violations around the world to launder their money here.”