Taiwanese Embassy is source of NYD Fund account, says Central Bank official

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Karamo Jawara, principal banking officer at the Central Bank, yesterday told the commission of inquiry looking into the assets and financial transactions of former president Yahya Jammeh, that the Taiwanese Embassy was the source of funding of the account of National Youth Development Fund opened by the office of the former president.

Mr Jawara testified that the account has dalasi and dollar accounts, adding that the dalasi account number was 1101004122 and the dollar account number was 1103001826.

He adduced that the dalasi account was opened on 13 June 2013, and the dollar account on 4 July 2014.

He said the dalasi account was with D158, 249,229.36 and the last transaction was to the tune of D113, 335,154.22, adding that there was a withdrawal of D158, 149,225.36.

He posited that there was a total deposit of $3,246,529.46 on the dollar account, adding that Momodou Sabally, Nuha Touray, Abdoulie Sallah and Kalilu Bayo were the signatories.

He said no purpose was stated for the opening of the account.

Mr Jawara adduced that the first withdrawal was on 8 July 2013, to the tune of D33, 820,620 and signed by Nuha Touray and Momodou Sabally.

He said that on 11 July 2013, a sum of D7, 373,451.25 was withdrawn and signed by Momodou Sabally, adding that no purpose was stated.

On 14 August 2013, he adduced, D3, 620,000 was withdrawn and signed by Nuha Touray, and no purpose was stated, adding that there was a transfer balance of D139, 305,145 and signed by Nuha Touray.

Mr Jawara said $5,301,325.73 was withdrawn, adding that nothing was left on the account.

He testified that a Euro account was opened on 26 July 2011, and the account number was 09201200525, adding that it was opened by the office of the former president, and that the first transaction was on 12 October 2011, and the last transaction was 13 December 2011.

He said the account is not closed but there is no activity, adding that the purpose was for the maintenance of an aircraft instructed by the office of the former president.

Mr Jawara stated that the source of funding was from the State of Qatar, adding that the total sum deposited was €3,999,000 and the last transaction was €275,000, and there was a balance of €1,702.

No purpose was stated, he said, adding that on 23 November 2011, there was a withdrawal of €500,000, with an instruction from the office of the former president.

He said there was a payment of €503,190.97 on 1December 2011, adding that they could not find the instruction.

He adduced that the transaction took place outside working hours and it was paid by the treasurer of the bank.

Mr Jawara stated that €1,000,000 was withdrawn and paid by the treasurer of the bank, adding that another €1,000,000 was withdrawn on 2 December 2011, and paid to Global Trading Group, and that it for the purchase of Boeing 757.

He adduced that on 2 December 2011, a sum of €720,000 was again paid to Global Trading Group, and that instructions could not be found.

He stated that the last withdrawal was €275,000 and was paid to Global Trdaing Group for the purchase of 10 buses, adding that there was a balance of €1,702.03.

Mr Jawara testified that there was no withdrawal from the Fish Landing account, and was opened by the office of the former president, adding that there was a total deposit of D4,085,936.65.

Documents relating to the opening of the account were tendered and admitted.

Nuha Touray was recalled to shed light on the sponsorship of the students by the former president.

He said he was not aware of any policy for the sponsorship, adding he did not think he saw any policy.

He posited that he did not remember whether sponsorships were published by the office of the president, adding that it was the discretion of the former president to sponsor students.

Mr Touray stated that there was an agreement between the office of the former president and the Republic of China concerning the Youth Development Fund.

He testified that payment from the account of International Gateway was made to Competence Company for the renovation of the justice complex, adding that GRTS was indebted to Africa Broadcasting to the tune of D10, 000,000 and payments were made to TK Motors with a sum of D10, 000,000 from a total debt of D19, 000,000 for the supply of vehicles, which he and Momodou Sabally signed.

Mr Touray adduced that $280,310 was spent for the purchase of red carpet and was authorised by the former president, adding that he kept records because he knew that reckoning would come, and this was why he brought the documents along.

Author: Dawda Faye