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Spanish pleads guilty to possessing cannabis

Sep 6, 2010, 11:58 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

(Friday, 3rd September 2010 issue)
Carlos Javier a Spanish national has pleaded guilty to possession of the prohibited drug cannabis before the narcotics court in Banjul.

According to the particulars of the offence, on 10th August 2010 at Banjul ferry terminal, Javier was found in possession of 2g and 390mg of suspected cannabis sativa contrary section 35(1) (a) of the Drug Control Act 1990.

Narrating the facts of the case, the prosecuting officer Inspector Raymond Jarju told the court that officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) were on duty at the ferry terminal, when the accused came through, and the officers demanded to search his belongings.

They discovered 2g and 390mg of cannabis sativa with the accused, who when confronted about the drug admitted ownership of the cannabis.

The police prosecutor added that the matter was later reported at their main office in Banjul, and the said cannabis sativa was sent for weighing.

The analytical report, the cautionary and voluntary statements and the cannabis were tendered in court as exhibits.

Magistrate Abeke in convicting the accused person told the court that the minimum penalty for the offence committed is a fine of D250, 000 or 10 years imprisonment, depending on the discretion of the court. He said the maximum fine for trafficking is D1, 000,000.

He said many convicted persons have complained that they were caught with very small quantities of cannabis and fined D250, 000, which they considered as excessive.

However, in such cases, the quantity does not matter, what matters is the evidence against the accused person, according to the magistrate.

He, therefore, adjourned the case to 7th September 2010 for sentencing.

Meanwhile, officials from Spain's consular office in Banjul were seen at the trial.