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00:00:00
>> Six months after Gambian president Yahya Jammeh fled into exile, the country's new leaders have formed a commission to recover his considerable assets. Many found in this warehouse on his former sprawling country estate in the village of Kanilai. Among the discoveries, champagne with bottles commemorating the 1994 coup that brought him to power.
00:00:22
Jammeh, who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea, is thought to have acquired, or in the minds of the country's new leaders looted, property and belongings worth tens of millions of dollars both in Gambia and internationally. As Reuters' Emma Farge reports from Kanilai, today's discovery is just the beginning.
00:00:40
>> Now this is the first time that government officials under Adama Barrow, the new president, have actually got inside the estate. And I'm the first journalist to be here. Previously, it's been under control of the army, so we weren't quite sure what we would find inside. What we did find were relics of an extravagant lifestyle.
00:00:59
Champagne bottles, dusty Mercedes and an incredible collection of animals, hyenas, camels, zebras and crocodiles. The fate of these are now in the hands of the court, who is taking one by one possession of these assets, until they decide what to do with them. And we saw them serve notice to the army today to say this was now in the custody of the Gambian government.
00:01:25
The Kanilai compound is just one of what we understand are about 200 properties belonging to the former president across the country. And that's just the domestic aspect of the investigation. Gambian authorities are collaborating with US officials and with the World Bank in order to trace his international assets.
00:01:46
They don't know yet what they're gonna find. But investigators told me they expect goods worth tens of millions of dollars. They've set up this commission for an initial period of three months, but that could be extended. And then it's up to the court to decide what happens to the property.
00:02:01
I've met many Gambians though who are impatient to get their properties back. And say that they were kicked out illegally form their own homes in order for Yahya Jammeh to take possession of them.