Gambia bans Mohamed Ibrahim Bazzi from entering the country

The government of The Gambia on the recommendations of the “Janneh commission” has issued a ban on Mr Ibrahim Bazzi on the basis of his dealings with former head of state Yaya Jammeh.

Bazzi is of Lebanese origin and had held a Gambian Diplomatic Passport No. 000129 due to his position as Consul General of The Gambia in Lebanon. Mr. Bazzi came to The Gambia sometime end of 2000 into early 2001. He was invited to The Gambia by Mr Terek Musa because he was in the electricity power business. He was declared a close associate of former President Jammeh on 13th October, 2017.

The Commission found, inter alia, that Mr Bazzi was involved in extensive business dealings both with former President Jammeh through their companies, and with the Government of The Gambia with his full support. Mr Bazzi’s main foreign partner was Mr Fadi Mazegi, while his main local partner was Mr Amadou Samba. Mr Bazzi and Mr Amadou Samba were introduced around the same time Bazzi met former President Jammeh. Some of Mr Bazzi’s family members were also involved in the operation of his companies in The Gambia.

The Commission found that Mr Bazzi is known to have interest in at least fifteen (15) companies which either directly or indirectly had business dealings with the Government and former President including Euro Africa Group Limited (EAGL), Global Trading Group NV (GTG), Gam Petroleum Company Limited, Gamveg Oil Company, Gambia Milling Corporation Limited (GMC), Gambia-African Mining International Company Limited (GAMICO), Royal Atlantic Residence etc.

Mr Bazzi’s first business in The Gambia and dealing with former President Jammeh, Mr Amadou Samba and Mr Baba Jobe (deceased) was through GTG in respect of supply of Generators, rehabilitation of the Distribution Network, and supply of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to NAWEC.

The Commission also found that EAGL took over the exclusive contract awarded by the Government under the executive directive of former President Jammeh to supply all the country’s petroleum needs from Euro African Oil Company Ltd. Fadi Mazegi was authorized by Mohamed Bazzi on GTG letterhead to become signatory to the two companies’ accounts in 2004. The Contracts were extended in 2006, and 2010. The Commission found that both EAGL and GTG respectively had 100% control of the supply of petroleum products/HFO and were therefore monopolies under Gambian law. These two companies were also engaged in conduct that prevented, restricted or distorted competition contrary to the Competition Act.

The Commission further found that the basis for the sole agency status awarded to EAGL and GTG was a direct violation of the Government procurement rules, as it created a favored status founded on the personal relationship between the directors of EAGL and former President Jammeh, which is shown to have been sustained by, and through, direct bribery and other corrupt practices.

For example, the Commission found that EAGL transferred the sum of $2,550,000 into a Trust Bank Limited (TBL) account controlled by former President Jammeh as full.