Luxury cars belonging to former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh "are not going anywhere", the top adviser of new Gambian president Adama Barrow has told IBTimes UK. Mai Ahmad Fatty made the comment hours after it was revealed that Jammeh, who went into exile on 21 January, left with some 500 million of Gambian dalasi and luxury cars.
Some vehicles are still parked at the airport in Gambia's capital Banjul, but the airport staff has been instructed not to allow any of Jammeh's belongings to leave.
"People are making a lot of noise about this matter. We are taking appropriate measures to protect the properties of The Gambia," Fatty said.
"These cars are still parked at the airport, which is the security custody of Gambian forces, so everything that is there, will remain there. I am confirming again that in the last two weeks, Jammeh withdrew about $10m, which amounts to about 500m of Gambian Dalasi," he continued.
Fatty added it is unclear how these funds are being used by Jammeh and further investigations are required.
"It is is a matter we will look into. When the government is in place, we will be in a better position to investigate," he said. "The government public funds cannot be misappropriated."
When is Barrow going home?
When asked when Barrow, currently in Senegal, is going back home, Fatty said he could not comment. The adviser said, on 22 January: "His excellency wants to go back home as soon possible".
Some Gambian refugees in Dakar told IBTimes UK they were worried to go back home as their leader was still in Senegal, but Fatty said:
"Ecomog forces in The Gambia are working with local authorities to clear the situation. So far we are very confident that there are no incidents and President Barrow has indicated that the state of affairs in the country is getting stable, so Gambians are advised to return home. In fact he [Barrow] has gone beyond that, and has organise logistical support.
"Yesterday alone, we have ferried nearly 5000 Gambians from this side of the border and we have currently almost 3000 Gambians waiting to go home now," Fatty continued. "We are very satisfied with how things are going and it is absolutely safe for Gambians to return home right now."
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