Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Gambia: Expulsion of Lebanese business mogul withdrawn

President Jammeh, who sent Tajudeen packing in June, says the Lebanese business magnet is free to return (Photo Credit: AFP)

A Lebanese business tycoon who was asked out of The Gambia on June 4 by President Jammeh has been told on Friday he can return.  

Hussein Tajudeen, proprietor of Tajco Company Limited, was declared Persona Non-Grata and asked to leave the West African country within 72 hours over allegations he was “involved in undesirable business activities which have very serious health and economic consequences to the people and State [of The Gambia].”

Now, an October 25 press statement stated the Gambian leader has pardoned Mr Tajudeen and has given him the green light to return as of this month.  

Tajudeen, who runs a collection of businesses including Gambia’s largest supermarket [Kairaba Shopping Center], is considered one of the biggest investors in The Gambia.

The Lebanese businessman is a holder of the Insignia of Officer of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia (ORG). 

His Tajco Company and an array of business establishments have been blacklisted by the US State Department over allegations of “providing funds to the terrorist-designated Lebanon-based Hezbollah movement” and “having links to Lebanese Canadian Bank accused of engaging in money laundering.”

Following Tajudeen’s expulsion in June, The Gambia warned businessmen “to strictly adhere to the rules of engagement, in the interest of their businesses, the consumers and the State.”

“Despite the fact that The Gambia has a liberal economy, the State will not condone greedy and unscrupulous businessmen who are just after their profit margins and not the welfare and well-being of the consumers,” it stated.

President Jammeh issued a ban on the importation of frozen chicken legs shortly after expelling Mr Tajudeen who was also heavily involved in the importation of chicken legs into the country. The ban takes effect in September 2013.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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