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Cocaine 9 trial continues

May 6, 2011, 12:08 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The multi-million dollar cocaine case involving nine foreign nationals continued on Wednesday at the Banjul Magistrates' Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

Lamin J. Gassama, a narcotics officer, stationed at Kanifing testified as the tenth prosecution witness, and told the court that his schedule of duties includes the investigation of crime.

He said he could recognise the accused persons, adding that he first came into contact with the accused persons when he was instructed to join the investigating panel sitting at the NIA headquarters in Banjul.

He added that the investigation was on the prohibited drug cocaine, which the accused persons were suspected to be involved with.

"On15 May 2010, Commissioner Jatta left with a team to Baobao Island and upon his return he gave me a digital camera memory card which was recovered and asked me to go through it in the computer in order to ascertain its contents," he added.

"I went through it and discovered that the memory card contained pictures of a warehouse that was under construction, as well as the pictures of the accused persons," he further told the court.

Officer Gassama further adduced that he used the laptop to prepare the report on the investigation, as well as printed out the pictures which he placed in the case file.

The witness identified the memory card and the pictures, which were later admitted and marked as ID.

Inspector Gassama also told the court that they visited the Bonto village where they met the members of the Gambia Armed Forces and PIU officers, who were stationed there to secure the place.

He added that they then went inside the warehouse, and there was a hole created that led to a bunker, and inside the bunker were bags. Inside the bunker they saw bags containing blocks of suspected cocaine, and they called and informed the Executive Director of the NDEA, Benedict Jammeh.

He said Benedict Jammeh later came with the IGP, the commanding officer of the State Guard Battalion, and experts from the UK, and they all went into the bunker and brought out the cocaine.

The case, expected to continue yesterday, did not proceed.