Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jammeh says cocaine destruction shows concrete action

How could such a grand scheme of illicit drug bank exist here without local backers, a local journalist asked. Picture: A fraction of over two tonnes of cocaine seized in Gambia in 2010. (Photo credit: Saikou Jammeh)

This (cocaine) destruction shows the whole world The Gambia’s stance on drugs and corruption is clear as we are translating our slogan: “No to drugs and corruption” into concrete actions, says Yahya Jammeh. 
In a statement read on his behalf by Njogu Bah, minister of presidential affairs during the “destruction of 2 tons, 190kg and 500g of cocaine”, Jammeh said: “Since 1994 I had made it clear that my government would never be a party to any kind of social ill that has the potential of wrecking the future of the citizens of the Gambia, especially the youth.” 

Destroyed on March 4, 2013, the cocaine, which worth over US$1 billion, was seized in 2010 from a warehouse at Bonto village, Kombo East District, West Coast Region of The Gambia. 

Cocaine bust, estimated to worth $1 billion, June 2010, Banjul
12 foreigners of Venezuelan, Netherlands, Nigerian, and Mexican origin were put on trial following the “shock discovery” of a warehouse fully stocked with cocaine – which British forensic experts said worth over one billion US dollars ($1b).  

They were all convicted sent to jail on various prison sentences from 50 years and a fine of 50 million Gambian Dalasis. An appeal against the sentencing was rejected on Feb. 28, 2013.

Hardest job

“Combating drugs is one of the hardest jobs one can embark upon in our modern times,” claims Mr. Samba Gajajo, director general National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDEA).

He said there has been a global increase in the production of drugs and the massive production models have been backed by advanced technologies that have the potential of making drugs cartels and barons go unnoticed and unchecked.

President of The Gambia Yahya Jammeh
President of The Gambia Yahya Jammeh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He said the destruction did not only meant to allay public fears that the drugs seized by agency may be re-circulated, but also to show the whole world that the Gambia as small as it is, is capable of countering the greatest threats associated with drugs trafficking, and organized crime.   

The puzzle

“Over two years after British and Gambian forces made this landmark seizure of 2 tonnes of cocaine in Bonto, those linked to the shipment - all of them foreigners - had been arrested, tried and jailed,” wrote Saikou Jammeh.

“But the puzzle remains: How could such a grand scheme of illicit drug bank exist here without local backers?” he asked. “Until these are traced, the fight against drug in Gambia will remain an uphill climb because it suggests some big fish are escaping the net.”

Written by Modou S. Joof

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