Gambia government had on Friday, Aril 22, pronounced the freezing of all assets owned by Ghadafi in the country. Laico Hotel, formerly known as Atlantic Hotel, Jerma Hotel, and Dream Park are said to be part of Ghadafi’s assets and therefore freezed with effect from April 22. Over a week on, business is as usual at these places.
The Daily News has confirmed that none of the said investments are owned by Ghadafi. All the three investments are owned by private Libyan citizens.
Gambia’s Tourism Minister has also confirmed that the said investments are neither freezed nor closed down yet.
“I don’t think we can close them down like that,” an unnamed senior government official told The Daily News. “What we can do is to appoint an administrator to oversee the operation of the businesses.”
Eugen Dielthelm is the general manager of Laico Hotel. He stared in astonishment when informed by a The Daily News reporter, who went to him for interview about the development. But he said he wasn’t aware. This was the sixth day after the pronouncement. “It’s a surprise,” he spoke softly, “When was that announcement made?”
“Can I see the press release?” he enquired further, this time looking worried. He logged onto the State house website: www.statehouse.gm to be assured. He then telephoned a person, he said, was the tourism minister, Fatou Mass Jobe.
“Fatou,” he said on the telephone, “I am with a journalist and he told me that my hotel is to be closed-down by the Gambia government.”
After a brief conversation, he looked positive. “My hotel is not closing down,” he said. “If Gambia government is having issues with the Ghadafi’s government that is not my problem and that should not affect my hotel.”
He added: “I am the general manager and I am still the general manager, nothing has changed here as far as I am concerned.”
Mr Muhammed, proprietor of Jerma Hotel, was however aware of the development. But he declined to comment any further after saying the issue has been cleared up with the ministry.
“I can tell you that this [Jerma] hotel is a private investment,” a man who prefered to be anonymous has said. “Yes, the owner is a Libyan, but the ownership has nothing to do with the Libyan government or Ghadifi.”
Author: Lamin Jahateh