Police make gains in fight against illegal logging, importation

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Gambia Police Force is making significant gains in stemming cross-border illegal logging and smuggling. On 13 January 2018, at a district tribunal presided over by Kanimang Sanneh, chief of Jimara, seven Senegalese and one Gambian were fined a sum of Seven Thousand Dalasi (D7000.00) each, after they pleaded guilty.

The eight were charged with two counts of felling trees without license and illegal importation of forestry products contrary to sections 27 and 4 respectively of the Forestry Regulatory Act.

They were arrested on 16 December 2017 by police in URR during a routine night patrol in Jimara. The police chanced on them smuggling timber on horse and donkey carts. As part of the sentence, the carts and timber logs were forfeited to the Forestry Department, while the donkeys and horses were returned to the accused. Felling and smuggling of timber across the border of Gambia and Senegal are a growing criminal activity in the regions of URR, CRR and LRR and police and other security forces are coordinating efforts in order to stem its rise. 

On 17 November 2017 during a joint security border patrol in CRR, security personnel came across a group of men smuggling timber logs into The Gambia. On seeing the patrol team, the perpetrators fled leaving behind nine donkeys and one horse each tied to a cart loaded with timber. These were escorted to the Bansang Police Station.

Supt. David Kujabi PRO of Gambia Police Force said that efforts made to trace the owners of the donkeys and horse has so far not been successful. He disclosed that the animals are currently under police custody and it is costing a lot to feed and care for them. PRO Kujabi added that the police have consulted the Bansang Magistrate and are doing what is legally necessary to dispose of the animals through public auction.