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Suspected human trafficker agent trial progresses

Nov 10, 2016, 10:12 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota

The criminal trial involving the state against one Lamin Jaiteh resumed yesterday before presiding Justice O. Ottaba of the High Court in Banjul.

The accused is being tried for acting as an intermediary for the purpose of human trafficking.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused between August and December 2015 in Serekunda and diverse places in The Gambia, acted as an agent of “Mona Sabah Tahir Manpower Services”, a recruitment agency in Kuwait by recruiting over three (3) people to travel to Kuwait for the purposes of exploitation, and thereby committed an offence.

The matter was scheduled for cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, who was said to be indisposed.

The prosecution, led by state counsel A. Mendy, interposed the second prosecution witness, who then gave evidence-in-chief.

In her testimony, the second prosecution witness (name withheld) told the court that she is a nurse attendant who resides at Sanchaba Touba, and knew the accused.

The witness said she became interested in travelling to Kuwait after she learnt that her friend was assisted by the accused, and was taken to Bakoteh Junction Ba where she met the accused sitting with his friends.

After her formal introduction to the accused, she asked the accused whether he was the man taking young girls to Kuwait, and he replied in the affirmative.

She told the accused that she was interested, and the accused informed her that she should get the necessary documents, like an international passport, medical certificate, and certificate of character, among others.

PW2 added that the accused explained that she needed to undergo an HIV/Aids test in order to get the medical certificate, and that after she acquired the said documents the accused asked her to go and conduct a vaginal test.

It was at this juncture that she asked the accused that since they were going for a job in Kuwait, whether there was any need to conduct a vaginal test.

She further told the court that the accused later asked her to skip the vaginal test, informed her about the departure date, and gave her an air ticket and a paper she should take to a specific bank upon her arrival in Kuwait.

The witness said her passport was not having a visa, and that the accused advised her to put all her documents inside her handbag, except her passport which he instructed her to hold in her hand.

“We are Gambians, we do not wish peace for each other and if they happen to see the other papers they would know that she was going to travel,” the witness said the accused admonished her.

She further informed the court that she was with the accused and other girls going to Kuwait, and that after their final preparations, the accused informed them that they should not go in groups, to avoid people having any suspicion.

The witness told the court that the accused also informed them that each of them should pay the sum of D2,000.

This money, the witness said the accused explained, was meant for the police at the international airport in Dakar, so as to facilitate their exit.

Hearing continues.