Briton who  disguises as  philanthropist  arrested with  skunk cannabis

Sep 28, 2021, 12:11 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

As the fight against drug and related illicit activities intensifies in the country, operatives of the country’s narcotic agency have made another breakthrough, with the arrest of a British national who disguised himself as a philanthropist, The Point has been reliably informed.

Operatives of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency The-Gambia (DLEAG) clutched Leon Washington Thayard Hall, the principal suspect at a restaurant opposite Atlas Petrol Station at Brusubi with a wrap of suspected skunk cannabis. He is a British national and a resident of Tranquil, Brusubi. His caretaker, Abdoul Majid Baldeh, a Senegalese from Ziguinchor, Cassamance has also been taken into custody.

Another team at a different location also arrested a caretaker working for him. Both operations took place simultaneously. Both suspects are currently under the custody of narcotic officers as investigation into the matters continues. 

Ousman Saidybah, the spokesperson of DLEAG who was contacted for comments confirmed the development to The Point, saying: “It is, however, interesting to note that Mr. Leon is a person who presents himself as a philanthropist and a businessman. He claims to be selling puppies (dogs). He equally claims to be among the trustees and founder of Hand on Africa, a UK based charitable foundation.”

DLEAG operatives stationed in the West Coast Region, Saidybah added, conducted a sting operation that resulted in the discovery of a suspected skunk (cannabis) cultivation centre at Brusubi on Saturday 25 September 2021 around 20:00 GMT onwards.

“Thereafter, the team left for the suspected cultivation site at a residence in Brusubi where they discovered three different rooms used to cultivate suspected skunk cannabis. At the said residence in Brusubi, they have all their equipment, manure, fertilisers and heavy-duty lamps used to cultivate the said suspected cannabis.” 

From the cultivation site at Brusubi, PRO Saidybah explained, the team proceeded to Mr. Leon’s residence at Brusubi Tranquil where they discovered another six wraps of suspected skunk cannabis wrapped in a medicine like plastic sachets. 

“In the same vein, officers discovered some material and equipment, manure and heavy duty lights used to process the said suspected skunk cannabis at his residence at tranquil.  Mr. Leon from preliminary findings uses the other residence at Brusubi Phase One extension purposely for cultivation while he resides at Tranquil.”

Saidybah notes: “While we welcome anyone who might want to contribute to the socio-economic development of this country, we must also be cautious and ensure that we do proper background checks on them. Similarly, we must put in place robust and proper monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess what they do. These dealers are smart and are constantly changing their modus operandi. They use front businesses as a disguise to cover their tracks and conceal their illicit trade. It is without doubt that someone who sincerely wants to help people and society will not engage in anything that poisons them or hinders their growth and development.” 

“Similarly, we continue to call on heads of households and those concerned with managing premises to be very cautious of the people they let their properties. Equally, they should not limit their supervision to the physical structures and rent collection alone. A classic example of lack of proper supervision is a case of this nature. The nefarious and criminal activity-taking place here is in the open.”

He recalled that in 2020, operatives nabbed another British, Tyrone Michael Ennis for similar offence of cultivating skunk cannabis in his residence at Sutusinsang.

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