The Kairaba Shopping Centre, a gleaming, glass-fronted two-story building in Gambia’s Serrekunda beach resort, is the biggest supermarket in mainland Africa’s smallest nation. Its clientele of wealthy locals, tourists and expat workers set it apart from the mom-and-pop stores and local markets where most ordinary Gambians shop.

But the US Treasury Department sees something more sinister behind the facade of the supermarket and its twin at the nearby Kololi resort. The Kairaba chain and its Banjul-based parent company Tajco were placed under US sanctions in December 2010 for allegedly forming part of a multinational network that investigators said generated millions of dollars for the Lebanese movement Hezbollah.


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