Interior Minister: We will dismantle any organised criminal network

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ebrima Mballow, the minister of the Interior has said that the country is determined to dismantle any organised criminal network that may emerge in the jurisdiction.

“We will deal with any such group without negotiation to safeguard our youth from misery and suffering caused by drugs,” he said.

“The Gambia under the new dispensation through my ministry will ensure that the Drug Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia is capacitated and equipped to implement a balance strategy in tandem with internationally recognised standards.”

Interior Minister Mballow was speaking during the commemoration of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking otherwise called World Drugs Day.

The day is supported each year by Anti-Narcotic agencies, individuals, communities and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) all over the world, with the aim of raising awareness on problems posed to society by illicit drugs as well as call for public support in the crusade against drug trafficking and related crimes.

“We shall not relent in our quest of ensuring that the future of this country is not mortgaged to drug dealers, drug peddlers and their patrons. We will implement robust actions to strengthen our interdiction capacity and support criminal justice systems, to ensure speedy trial of persons charged with drug related offences,” he added.

 This, he stated, will guarantee the right of accused persons and promote compliance with national and international legal requirements. The Gambia like other countries in the sub-region remains vulnerable to the trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs, he added.

According to him, there is clear nexus between drug trafficking and terrorist financing. The apparent role of drug trafficking in the organised crime cycle is too serious a threat that cannot be ignored.

“I therefore call on all Gambians and residents of the Gambia to be vigilant and work towards complementing government’s efforts in the fight against drugs by reporting suspicious drug trafficking and related activities to DLEAG and other law enforcement agencies.”

Drugs, he went on, know no race, tribe or political affiliation. “To fight drugs requires coordinated approach in awareness creation and alternative development for a healthy and safe environment.”

Tijan Bah, deputy director of Drug Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia, said they have developed the first ever-comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS), completely overhauled of the Drug Control Act 2003, strengthened partnership with regional partners as well as signed MOU with their counterparts in Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau etc.

“In the same vein, we have put in place internal control mechanism to ensure that there is probity and accountability in what we do. We developed staff service rules, code of conduct for staff, standard operational procedure, Professional Standards Disciplinary Committee (PSDC) among others.

Tijan Bah said: “The success on the crusade on drugs largely depends on your support and participation. We cannot be everywhere and at every time. Report drug related activities to us and hold us to account. Equally account yourself on your stance to ensure that your communities are drug free.”

Author: Momodou Jawo