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City of Banjul
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kungkujang Keita-ya police robbery not an inside job


Press release

The Guardian Intelligence and Investigative Service has launched an investigation into the robbery attack of Kungkujang Keita-ya Police Station that happened in May of 2023, which left three officers seriously injured and are now on administrative leave pending their recovery. When we initially launched this investigation, we suspected that this was an inside job since there are usually two possible reasons as to why someone would rob a police station or government institution. The first reason being a situation of an employee notifying his or her criminal counterparts that drugs or large sums of cash were in the evidence/exhibit room and the second being a jail/prison break.

Our investigations revealed that two suspect in mask first entered the police station and they quickly restrained the two female officers that were on duties with one suspect holding a knife and the other holding scissors and the third suspect then went straight to the CID’s office and grabbed the black exhibit/evidence box which had case files, cell phones and possible cash in it while the forth suspect waited at the door as a lookout. The third officer who happened to be in the back room was able to act quickly and confronted the suspect with the black evidence/exhibit box and fought the suspect and was able to recover the evidence/exhibit box but got seriously injured in the process; one of the suspects managed to left with a cellphone belonging to one of the officers.

These officers were compensated with little money and promotion, what an unethical way to promote an officer, isn’t promotion supposed to be given by merits? Now my question becomes what about all the other officers who have been working so hard but are yet to receive a promotion? We have also learned that this wasn’t the first time that officers in our police force receive promotions after they nearly got killed. This shows that promotions in our security sector are not based on hard work, competence or even merits but on who almost got killed or if your uncle or relative are in the top rank. Further investigations revealed that poor management and no special storage rooms have been assigned for evidence/exhibits at the said police station which led to these armed robbers knowing how and where evidence/exhibits are stored at Kungkujang Keita-ya Police Station where it’s very visible to the public. This wasn’t any officer’s fault but the government, who refused to build a standard police station with a room specifically for case files and evidence.

An evidence or exhibit room should be secured, have CCTV cameras, not exposed to the public, and have an officer assigned to the room whose job is solely to keep a log of any physical evidence such as weapons, electronics, materials that contains DNA, case files, recordings, transcripts, supporting information, and anyone going in and out of the room. Another contributing factor to this robbery situation is the fact that our police officers are being sent out there to put their lives and families on the line without squad vehicles and weapons to defend themselves, which gives these criminals targeting them the courage to attack our officers. How do we expect our officers to protect the public when they themselves do not even have the tools to protect themselves? We need the government to understand that enforcing laws goes beyond pen, paper, and looking good in uniform. We have reached out to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanneh and Police Commissioner Lamin Bojang to discuss what we have gathered so far and a way forward to catch these robbers and bring them to justice, but IGP Sanneh is busy running his private business than protecting our police officers and safeguarding the nation.

Our organisation is moving to phase two of the investigation and now offering D35,000 for any credible information leading to arrest and prosecution of the four-armed robbery suspects who attacked the Kungkujang Keita-ya Police Station.

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