#Headlines

Police officer arrested for aiding escape of ‘renowned drug trafficker’

Nov 3, 2020, 11:39 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

An unidentified police officer is currently in ‘hot water’ as officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency – The Gambia have taken him into custody for reportedly helping a ‘renowned drug trafficker’ Lamin Jarju, alias Lamin Sarjoh, escape arrest; The Point has been reliably informed.

The suspect at the time of gathering the report was under the custody of narcotic officers as investigation into the matter deepens.

The unidentified officer who is now believed to be personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) of The Gambia Police Force (GPF) was alleged to have be sweeping the road for the suspect and also obstructing a team from the DLEAG and the police from arresting the suspect who was believed to be in possession of suspected cannabis sativa.

Lamin Saidybah, the spokesperson of the DLEAG who was contacted for comments on the matter confirmed the development to The Point.

The incident, he added, happened on Thursday 29 October 2020 around 6 p.m. “Narcotic officers in collaboration with traffic officers mounted a vehicle check-point at Old Yundum Police Station after receiving tip off about a suspected drug dealer Lamin Jarju alias Lamin Sarjoh who had gone to the bush to collect suspected cannabis.”

Upon sighting the vehicle approaching the check-point on board a green C-Class Mercedes Benz with registration number BJL 8063, PRO Saidybah explained, the traffic officers stopped the vehicle in front of the suspect’s vehicle. The operatives approached the suspect with the intention of conducting a search on his vehicle.”

From the front windscreen of the suspect’s vehicle, Saidybah went on; the officers could see what was suspected to be bundles of suspected cannabis sativa in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

“However, the suspect refused to open his vehicle. The central lock of the vehicle was on. While one of the officers tried to open the vehicle from the driver’s side with his hand on the handle of the vehicle, the suspect speed off endangering other road users and passers-by. One of the officers whose hand was on the handle reacted swiftly and jumped on top of the vehicle while the suspect recklessly drove off at top speed.”

“The suspect was heedless to the call of the officer for him to stop his vehicle, driving carelessly at top speed from Old Yundum Police Station to Sukuta Traffic Light through Brusubi Turntable (round-about) to Kololi Tavern. The most lamentable part was that the call of the officer shouting for help fell on the deaf ears. He kept on shouting identifying himself as a law enforcement officer and urging people to help or call for help,” he said, adding that some even labelled him as being mad while the suspect continues to endanger lives and properties.

Fearing for his life and the safety of the public, he said, the officer tried using the bangle on his hand to break the front wind-screen of the suspect’s vehicle so that he could re-direct the vehicle. “Unfortunate, the suspect was at the same time randomly spraying a pepper spray that he had in his possession on the officer.”

Upon arriving somewhere around Kololi Tavern under excruciating pain from the pepper spray and holding on to the vehicle for a very long time, he further explained, the officer tried to receive a call and fell from the vehicle sustaining serious bodily injuries.

“It is important to note that the suspect Lamin Jarju was recently convicted for the possession of prohibited drugs contrary to section 43(4)e of DCA 2003.”

The suspect, he continued, was found guilty and convicted to a fine D100, 000 to be paid in two instalments October and November 2020 respectively. Similarly, a sum of D89700 dalasis that he Lamin Jarju was arrested with and found to be proceeds from drug trafficking was forfeited to the state together with a Mercedes Benz BJL1677 Q.

As investigation into the matter continued, Saidybah added, that the officers realised that an officer of the law who was suspected to have been sweeping for the suspect obstructed the vehicle of the ‘only good samaritan who used his vehicle to chase the suspect.

“It was also realised that while the suspect was stopped at the checkpoint, this same officer was on a motorbike at the checkpoint and he equally immediately speed off the moment the suspect did. The officer deliberately obstructed the pursuing team by parking his motorbike in front of them at Brusubi Turntable by parking it in the middle of the road and accusing the officers hunting the suspect of reckless driving.

“He tried to draw the officers into a confrontation even though they identified themselves to him as law enforcement officers in hot pursuit of a suspect. The same officer who obstructed the Good Samaritan and never made any effort to follow up with them and pursue the suspect after their mission was explained to him tried to arrest the Good Samaritan claiming that he was driving recklessly.”     

“We are therefore calling on the public to share any information that they have about the said suspect who is currently at large. Similarly, anyone found to have knowingly aided and abetted, harboured or in any way helped the suspect evade justice will be dealt with according to the dictates of the law.”

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