DLEAG: Illicit drug trafficking fuels crimes and violence

Mar 18, 2022, 1:42 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Bakary Gassama, the director general of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) has called on development partners to consider issues relating to illicit drugs in their programmes and activities.

According to the Agency, no one nation or society can thrive in the presence or with the prevalence of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.

“Illicit drug trafficking and abuse affect human and national development. Its impact can be felt on the health, wellbeing, safety and security of individuals and nations. It undermines economic activities, democratic institutions, fuels crime and violence, promotes corruption and there is also a strong nexus between illicit drug trafficking and organised crimes like human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and terrorist financing among others,” he said in statement read on his behalf by Ebrima Drammeh, the agency’s director of Operations who is also the acting deputy director general of DLEAG.

Mr. Drammeh was speaking yesterday during a day-long sensitisation workshop for Dolphin Stars Football Club on Drugs. The convergence was held at the NaNA Conference Hall along the Bertil Harding Highway in the Kanifing Municipality.

The programme, Drammeh added, is a manifestation of some of the success stories registered in the crusade on drugs because it celebrates the achievement of a gentlemen who took hold of his destiny and changed what was to be a bleak future, adding:

“Equally, it proves shows that with willingness, commitment, determination and support, people can recover from substance use disorders. We therefore, call on other institutions including the private sector to support programmes and activities aimed at reducing the demand for illicit drugs. We particularly call on CSOs to take the lead in preventive drug demand reduction initiatives and activities.”

DLEAG director of Operation further added: “Solving the world drug problem requires a balanced integrated multi-sectoral approach. It can’t be limited to interdiction and legal processes alone. Illicit drug demand reduction initiatives also play a crucial role in reducing the demand for drugs as well as fostering public support and participation.”

“Today in The Gambia, many people complain about the abuse and prevalence of controlled and prohibited. But how many people participate in keeping youths and drugs apart. How many are willing to report drug related activities when their relatives, patrons or cronies are involved. We must always have it at the back of our minds that we all have a role to play in keeping our communities’ safe, secure and drug free.”

Mamour M. Mbenga, president and founder of Dolphin Stars Football Club, said the football club is registered at the Ministry of Justice as a sport company with the objectives of developing grassroots football especially the vulnerable young people who got talent in sport but lack the support to achieve their dreams.

“One of our primary goals is to fight against illegal migration and also to partner with stakeholders in order to fight the use of illicit drugs and crimes in the community. Therefore, sports can be a tool of mechanism to engage the youths to participate fully in educative football.”

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