By Omar Bah
The Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG) has yesterday announced the seizure of 734 blocks of suspected cocaine.
In a statement signed by its Director General Bakary Gassama and shared with The Standard, DLEAG said: “Operatives of The Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) attached to the Kanifing Municipal Command, seized a total of seven hundred and thirty-four blocks of a substance believed to be Cocaine.
“The preliminary test conducted by our forensic experts suggests that the blocks are Cocaine positive.
The seizure is the result of a well-coordinated high-profile intelligence-led tactical operation starting with an initial seizure of one block at Westfield Junction, followed by the seizure of forty-four blocks and subsequently, six hundred and eighty-nine blocks were discovered in a store inside a private residence located near Paradise View in Salagi, Kombo North District, West Coast region.
“Six people are so far arrested; including one (01) Gambian (Omar Fofana) and five (05) Sierra Leoneans namely (Junior Vandy, Jeremia Thomas, Alex Thomas, Alagie Suwareh and Joy Bangura – a lady). Three of the Sierra Leoneans are staying in the compound, while Omar Fofana is said to be the one in charge of the compound but does not live there.”
DLEAD said its Director General immediately commissioned a comprehensive and detailed investigation into the case with due compliance with rule of law and human rights standards.
“The Agency will work closely with all national stakeholders and international partners to consolidate this achievement and hold perpetrators to criminal accountability. Amidst desperate disinformation campaigns against the Agency by groups and individuals who are serving nothing but the interest of criminals and criminal organizations, the Agency remained focused and resolute in discharging our mandate.
“This seizure is yet another demonstration of our capacity, resolve and commitment to the fight against transnational drug trafficking. We are untethered in ensuring that The Gambia remains a hostile ground for drug traffickers and no amount of intentional distraction will wither us from this path,” DLEAG said.
The agency appealed to all to cooperate and support it in this investigation and share information that may come their way regarding drug trafficking activities in the country.
“We acknowledge that the fight against drugs is a shared and collective responsibility and no amount of law enforcement effectiveness can deliver the desired goal without community cooperation and support.
Meanwhile, the Board, Management and Staff commend and congratulate the officers of the KM Command for this remarkable performance,” DLEAG added.
Wednesday’s seizure followed a record seizure of nearly three tonnes of cocaine last year from a shipment of industrial salt originating from Ecuador, amounting to over $88 million. However, the prime suspect in that operation (Banta Keita) is still at large.