Africa Intelligence Magazine has revealed that the administration of Adama Barrow found a Belarusian buyer for Yahya Jammeh’s Ilyushin IL62-M aircraft. According to the magazine, the long-range Ilyushin IL62-M has been sold to Rada Airlines, a private sector Belarusian air freight carrier, at a price that is yet to be disclosed.
The aircraft is said to have already left Banjul and landed in Vitebsk, 223 km northeast of Minsk, on 8 August, after a stopover in Djerba in Tunisia.
Yahya Jammeh’s Ilyushin IL62-M has been in service for a total of 28 years. Following its purchase from the Barrow administration, it has changed its registration from C5-RTG to EW-564TR. According to Africa Intelligence Magazine, it is due to be converted for use as a cargo aircraft before being brought into service in Rada Airlines’ fleet alongside two other aircraft of the same type.
The Ilyushin IL62-M was acquired from Uzbekistan in August 2005 by former president Yahya Jammeh, who was driven from power in January 2017 after refusing to recognize Adama Barrow’s victory. Jammeh has been living since in exile in Equatorial Guinea under the protection of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
Rolls-Royces and Bentleys
President Barrow, who took charge of a heavily indebted country in a state of financial ruin, has been trying to raise fresh funds. In 2018, he put two other Jammeh aircraft up for sale and some 30 luxury cars, including Rolls Royce and Bentleys, all owned by Jammeh and acquired with public funds. The Gambian treasury was hoping to raise $10m from the sale of these seized assets.
According to Africa Intelligence, the two remaining aircraft have still not been sold. The two, a Boeing 727 acquired in September 2008 and a Bombardier Challenger 601, which used to be operated by the Luftwaffe and was
purchased in November 2018, are still waiting for buyers at Banjul International Airport.