Operatives of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency-The Gambia (DLEAG) seized nearly three tonnes of cocaine amounting to over $88 million in January 2021, naming one Banta Keita as the main suspect in connection with the trafficking.
He has since been charged with nine counts ranging from drug trafficking and money laundering.
The seizure is reported to be the biggest ever cocaine seizure in the country by the narcotic agency.
The 118 bags weighed a gross 2 tonnes, 952kg, and 850g. The cocaine was discovered in a search of a container shipped from the port of Guayaquil in Ecuador through Algeciras in Spain, and then to The Gambia.
Lamin J. Gassama, DLEAG director of Intelligence, Investigation and International, said the country’s narcotics agency and partners are working tirelessly in ensuring that the principal suspect is arrested and prosecuted.
“I can tell you that DLEAG is continuing to intensify its search on Banta Keita. A number of partners around the world have been engaged and Interpol I 24-7 is monitoring him with a view to trace his movement anywhere he is in the world.”
“Again, DLEAG continues its engagement with multilateral and bilateral partners in order to ensure that Banta Keita is arrested wherever he stays and prosecuted.”
Gassama maintained that if Banta Keita is not seen until the next adjournment date, the case is going to proceed on the nine counts that he is charged with.
According to our source, several witnesses have been questioned by investigators with regard to the case.
“Given the fact that it’s a transnational case, quite a number of countries are concerned with the investigation. In fact, investigators of other countries are working with investigators of DLEAG in evidence gathering.”