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Narcotics officer explains operation leading to biggest cocaine seizure

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By Aisha Tamba

A narcotic officer, one Morry Kebba Camara from Drug Law Enforcement Agency yesterday testified in the drug case involving fugitive Banta Keita and Sheriff Njie who are standing trial in connection with the biggest cocaine seizure in the history of The Gambia.

He told the court that during the processing of the containers, the understanding was that the containers had industrial salt. “But we had our suspicions because in my experience providing intelligence support for the office and from five years of work experience at the seaport, I have never come across that nature of industrial salt”.

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The witness said there were initially four containers but only one was found to contain 118 bags of cocaine.

“The first container was searched in the presence of the second accused Sheriff Njie and was found not to have any drugs and we decided to choose another date to continue the search. On the 7th of January 2021 we resumed the search but before proceeding to the remaining containers, we asked Sheriff Njie who is the owner of those containers and initially resisted to mention the person’s name,” he said. Mr. Camara further stated that all the other sister security forces were present at the seaport to witness the opening of the containers and also the media.

The witness explained that Sheriff Njie later mentioned the name Banta Keita who he said is his friend for a very long time. “Sheriff Njie called Banta on the phone with a request to see him, but Banta declined asking Sheriff what he needed to see him for. After getting his telephone number and vehicle number plate from Njie some narcotic officers were sent to search for Banta Keita,” the witness told the court.

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Meanwhile, before adjourning the case, Justice ZN Mboob ruled that if the counsel for the second accused Sheriff Njie failed to appear in court again, he will be charged with contempt.  

The state was represented by Counsel L Jarjue while Sheriff Tambadou appeared for Banta Keita. 

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