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Narcotics officer testifies in cocaine 9 trial

Jan 26, 2011, 12:03 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Chief Superintendent Ebrima B. Jallow, acting officer commanding National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA) Kanifing Division, yesterday testified as the seventh prosecution witness in the trial of nine accused persons at the narcotics court of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The nine accused persons are Ephriam Michael Chiduben, a Nigerian national; Juan Carlos Sanchez, Eric Bottini, Dose Fermin, Juan Carlos Diaz and Esteaban Zavala all Venezuelan nationals; George Sanchez, a Mexican/Liberian national; and Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi and Dennis Wilgo Winter both Dutch nationals.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to trafficking in prohibited drugs, trafficking in drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, having firearms without authority, importation of firearms without authority, among others.

In his testimony, Chief Superintendent Jallow told the court that he is a resident of Banjul and a narcotics officer attached to the Serekunda Police Station, in charge of the Kanifing division.

He said he recognised the 1st accused person Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi, adding: “On 15 May 2010, I was part of the team of investigators that searched the 1st accused, Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi’s residence in Koloro and Bonto in the West Coast Region.

“The 1st accused person first took the team to the village of Koloro where we took a canoe boat to Babobu-bolong Island and after crossing, the team conducted a search in a building situated on the island.”

He said that since they were assigned to search for drugs in the premises and the rooms were many, the team decided to conduct room-to-room search, but nothing was found in the rooms and that of the 1st accused person.

Officer Jallow further testified that after the searching and since nothing was found at the Koloro Village, the team later proceeded to Bonto village to the warehouse, with the 1st accused.

He said that at Bonto Village the team conducted search from room number 1 to room number 7, but all the other rooms were not locked except room number 7.

“I called the first accused and I asked him why all the other rooms were not locked except room number 7 and in reply the accused said he did not know.

“I further asked him who locked the room with the keys, but Gazi said he did not know. I then further asked him who were the occupants of the rooms and he told me that was Juan Sanchez, the fifth accused.”

At that juncture, defence counsel L.S. Camara raised an objection on the grounds that DPP M. Abdoullah was leading his witness instead of allowing the witness to narrate to the court what actually happened.

However the defence’s objection was overruled by the trial Magistrate Alagba

The witness continued and told the court that the team later broke the door, entered the room and found some items, but they did not find any drug.

“I opened the bed drawer and I found something like a memory card that I picked up and handed it over to my colleague as it may be relevant in our investigation,” he said.

At that juncture, the case was adjourned until 27 January 2011 for continuation.