#Headlines

Gambia arrest top irregular migration organisers

Jul 20, 2020, 12:01 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

An operation headed by operatives of the State Intelligence Services (SIS) in collaboration with officers of The Gambia Police Force have made a major breakthrough as they arrested top irregular migration organisers as the fight against irregular migration intensifies, The Point has been reliably informed.

The suspects: Morr Jop and Abdou Sey, both Senegalese, are currently under custody as investigation into the matter continues. A source who is familiar with the matter and spoke to The Point on the condition of anonymity has confirmed the development.

Our source further added that operatives of the SIS have been monitoring the activities of the network for months. “However, recently the two top organisers made contacts with some young people who wanted to embark on the dangerous route to Europe in search of greener pasture. Each of the youth was requested to pay D45, 000 for the ‘backway’ trip on their boat.”

“On the fateful day of their arrest, the suspects had crossed The Gambia-Senegal border and lodged in a compound at the outskirt of Amdalaye, where they arranged to meet and receive payments from the Gambian youths who had been recruited by the network’s local scouts. Unknown to them, the SIS had infiltrated the network and had the rendezvous point covered by an arresting team consisting of The Gambia Immigration Department among other security personnel,” Our source further revealed.

Morr and Abdou, our source explained, were arrested on the spot with dozen others who had converged at the meeting point to make inquiries of payments for the planned boat trip.

Recovered from the scene, our source added, were jujus, monies and accessories for the boat as well a list of Senegalese and Gambians names who were booked to travel on the boat trip to the Canary Island.

It could be recalled that more than 100 youths lost their lives in high seas in Mauritania in November 2019, when the boat they boarded capsized on its way to Canary Island. The organiser of the boat, Ousman Bahoum, alias “Move Up”, a Senegalese resident in Barra went into hiding in Senegal until recently when he returned to Barra.

“Although he was arrested and detained for a few days and released and now he is presently working free on the streets of Barra much to the chagrin of parents and relatives who lost their loved ones,” our source added.

Those affected by the tragedy, our source said, have expressed reservations and frustration over the lack of conviction for irregular migration crimes by the courts with a conviction yet to be had on Ousman Bahoum along with those allegedly implicated or complicit in the organisation of the November 2019 boat mishap.

“In fact, it remains to be seen whether this latest burst of another irregular migration network will result in any conviction of the perpetrators for the fact that without doing so, could de-motivate security personnel from risking their lives to stop these dangerous adventures by youths,” our source continued.

Efforts to reach officials of the State Intelligence Services and that of the spokesperson of The Gambia Police Force proved futile.

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