Immigration officer testifies in trafficking in person case

Jun 18, 2020, 11:12 AM

AICO Samba Bah, an immigration officer from the Gambia Immigration Department has testified in a case involving two Nigerians who are facing 11 criminal charges including trafficking in person.

Samba Bah said the complainant told him that she used to sleep with 15 men in a night and each paid her D100. Bah recounted that when the complainant went home, she was bleeding and handed the money to Lucy, the first accused person. Officer Bah said when Lucy counted the money and became furious because it was D1500. Lucy complained to the complainant telling her that prostitutes take home nothing less than D2000. The witness testified that the next day, Lucy moved the complainant to another sex work place dubbed: Class One, and this time, she began coming home with D2000.

Bah who served nine years in the Immigration Department said the complainant was never happy with the sex work and this was why she absconded. He adduced that one day the complainant went to do the sex work but this time she was having some of her clothing in her back. When she closed, instead of going home she reported the matter to the Sanchaba Sulay Jobe Police Station. After the case was reported, Lucy was arrested from home and taken to the police station.

“When Christiani came to the station the complainant pointed at him and said this is the gentleman who brought me from Nigeria,” Bah said.

Witness Bah said Lucy promised the complainant that she would pay her two hundred and fifty thousand naira every day. Bah said the complainant told the investigating officers that she was not willing to do the sex work but Lucy put her in that business.

In fact, she said Christiani was having her passport and wouldn’t give her for any reason.

Bah said the other complainants were all kept at the government’s base in Bakoteh but they all escaped from custody except one. The witness said complainant’s return was facilitated, adding Christiani absconded.

The state pressed 11 criminal charges on Lucy Malachi also known as Happiness, a Nigerian lady and the second accused person, Christiani Oranugo but he has absconded while under bail.

Lucy is charged with conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 368 of the Criminal Code. According to the particulars of the offence, the two accused persons between the period of 2017 and 2018 at Sukuta agreed among themselves to import one complainant from Nigeria to The Gambia and forced her into prostitution.

The two were also charged with conspiracy to defile contrary to section 136 of the Criminal Code.

Lucy and Christiani are charged with trafficking in person contrary to section 28 (5) of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

They are also charged with acting as intermediary for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 29 of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

They also face money laundering charge contrary to section 22 (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing Act, 2012 among others.