A Gambian official has said more than $11 million was missing from its treasury following the departure last weekend of its long-term leader, Yahya Jammeh.
Mr. Jammeh left the country on Saturday for Guinea to begin his exile after initially refusing to cede power to Adama Barrow who had defeated him in the presidential election last December.
It took forces of the regional ECOWAS countries who gathered at the Gambian border to force Mr. Jammeh out of State House in Banjul where he was holed up.
According to the BBC, Mai Ahmad Fatty, an adviser to new President Adama Barrow, said while experts were still trying to evaluate the financial situation of the tiny West African country, it was known that Mr. Jammeh had loaded luxury cars and other items into a Chadian cargo plane on the night he left the country.
“The coffers are virtually empty,” Mr. fatty said. “It has been confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia.”
He said Mr Jammeh had made off with more than $11 million in the past two weeks alone.
However, the BBC said it was unable to independently verify the claims and Mr. Jammeh was yet to comment.
Mr. Jammeh, who had led the country for more than 22 years, defied efforts by ECOWAS leaders to get him to step down from office having lost the presidential election. He disputed the elections a few days after he initially conceded defeat, citing widespread irregularities.
The former president, who is accused of human rights violations, flew out of the capital Banjul late on Saturday as a regional military force was poised to remove him. Later that day, he arrived the Equatorial Guinea where he is expected to settle with his family.