GDC urges gov’t to probe, prosecute suspects over seized cocaine

Jan 13, 2021, 10:40 AM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) says it is concerned over the recent seizure of cocaine at The Gambia seaport and thus urged the government to come out with a statement, assuring proper investigations and prosecution of any suspected person.

On Thursday last week, officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) made an unprecedented seizure of over 2 tonnes of cocaine, amounting to over US$88 million at the Banjul seaport following a thorough physical search on a shipment container of alleged industrial salt from Ecuador.

It could be recalled that DLEAG personnel in 2010 made a similar seizure at Bonto village, which is now the second largest seizure of cocaine in the country.

Amadou Kah, the spokesperson of the GDC in an interview, informed The Point that the Gambia Democratic Congress as an opposition political party has a responsibility to task any government on matters of national urgency and security more especially on issues that might have the potential to create chaos and damage the reputation of the country at the global stage to be addressed.

He added that the recent unprecedented confiscation of over two tonnes of cocaine at the country's seaport in Banjul had never taken place in the history of The Gambia and that it must be given a swift and proper investigation and prosecute any suspected individual.

“By now, we should have expected the government to come out and give a statement of assurance on proper investigation and prosecution of persons connected to the matter. “Because matters of such national concerns must not be taken as a joke considering the national security threats drugs of such world class value can generate.

“I am saying this because we have also witnessed an importation of guns in the country but till now investigations and outcome on the issue were never satisfactory to the public,” he said.

He opined that the country’s security unit at the Banjul seaport must be properly strengthened as alleged traffickers of illicit drugs are using advantage of the poor security set-up at the seaport.

“We have to be very factual that most of these hard drug traffickers use our seaport as a transit or landing area as they might take advantage of a poor security arrangement we have at the port.”

“Seaports are very sensitive entry points in any country. So the government must from now on review the security protocols at Gambia Ports Authority in order to provide concrete security apparatus and personnel at the area. We are not saying there is no security at all, but we can see how our seaport is being used as a transit or landing site for drug smugglers in recent years,” he stated.