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Malian sentenced for drug trafficking

Jul 27, 2010, 11:48 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Abdou Sillah a Malian national will be spending three years in jail if he fails to pay a fine of D250, 000 for the offence of drug trafficking.

Senior Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke of the Banjul Magistrates' Court yesterday fined Mr. Sillah D250, 000 in default to serve three years' imprisonment with hard labour, following his own plea of guilt.

The particulars of the offence stated that on or about 24th April 2010 at the Amdarlai police post in Nuimi, Mr. Sillah was found in possession of 300 grams of the prohibited drug cannabis.

In his plea of mitigation, Mr. Sillah told the court that he is not a canabis seller, but a smoker. He maintained that the 300 grams of cannabis sativa was purposely for smoking, but not for sale.

He further said that he is married with several children, and that if jailed it would cause a lot of hardship for his family. He, therefore, urged the court to temper justice with mercy. 

In passing sentence, Magistrate Abeke observed that the mitigation plea was touching. He further noted that the accused person has accepted the charge preferred against him, without wasting the court's time. However, he added that the offence of drug trafficking is becoming too much in our society, and that it is only the law enforcement officers and courts that could put a stop to this dangerous trend.

The magistrate ordered that the cannabis be destroyed in public.

He further ordered that if the accused person pays the fine, 75% of the sum should be paid into the NDEA's account and 25% to the state's account.