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High court orders refreezing injunction in Banta Keita’s cocaine case

Mar 14, 2022, 2:09 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, a High Court judge in Banjul on Friday 11 March ordered the refreezing of Banta Keita’s accounts, his compound in Fajara in the Kanifing Municipality and his dark grey Range Rover vehicle among other properties.

The court also ordered that the Zenith Bank Gambia (Ltd) and Ecobank Gambia (Ltd) make a full disclosure to the applicant which is the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) and in furtherance therefore issue to the applicants statements of the said accounts.

Mr. Keita is accused of shipping nearly three tonnes of cocaine from a shipment of industrial salt originating from Ecuador, amounting to over $88 million.

Operatives of the (DLEAG) last year made a breakthrough by seizing 118 bags of cocaine weighing a gross 2 tonnes, 952kg, and 850g. The cocaine was discovered during a search of a container shipped from the port of Guayaquil in Ecuador via Algeciras in Spain, and then to the country.

Justice Jaiteh said the facts placed before the court elicited from the applicants’ affidavit filed, the requirement of a legal right if fulfilled, adding that the principle that there must be a substantial issue to be tried is also made out from the applicants’ averments and the substantive originating summons filed herein.

He added: “The balance of convenience is the major determining factor in my opinion. This covers the inconvenience that would be caused if the respondent is not restrained until the suit is finally determined. In view of the averments in the supporting affidavit and in consideration of the balance of convenience and the competing right of the applicants, it would certainly cause an injustice to the applicant if the respondent is not restrained pending the determination of the originating summons.”

Justice Jaiteh further stated: “That an order of refreezing injunction is hereby granted attaching and restraining the respondent, his privies, servants, and/or agents from disposing of or otherwise dealing with a property of three (3) bedrooms apartment, first floor of apartment block 5 with lease registration Number K259/12 situate at the front of Fajara Golf course approximately 16, 200sqm with 150m of beach frontage in Fajara, Kanifing Municipality of The Gambia belonging to the respondent pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

The High Court also ordered the refreezing injunction and restraining the respondent, his privies, servants and /or agents from disposing or otherwise dealing the property situate at Fajara M Section, Kanifing Municipality of The Gambia belonging to the respondent pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“An order of refreezing injunction is hereby granted attaching and restraining the respondent, his privies, servants and / or agents from disposing of or removing of and / or otherwise dealing with funds in account No. 6240005400, 624005298 and account No. 6240000256 at Ecobank Gambia (Ltd) pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

The High Court also orders: “Refreezing injunction is hereby granted attaching and restraining the respondent, his privies, servants and/ or otherwise dealings with funds in account No. 6020300714, account No. 6010304059 and account No. 6010304091 at Zenith Bank Gambia (Ltd)  pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Jaiteh also added that an order of freezing injunction is hereby granted attaching and restraining the respondent, his privies, servants and/ or agents from disposing of or otherwise dealing with a dark grey range rover vehicle and registration No. BJL 2000R; blue Volkswagen Beetle vehicle registration number BJL 2756 L and white speed boat label Doral Ibiza 220 cc with 250- horse power engine and to be kept under custodial legis of the DLEAG pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

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