By Omar Bah
Officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency were on Monday obstructed in Mankamang Kunda when they attempted to arrest an alleged ‘notorious’ cannabis dealer in the village, The Standard has been reliably informed.
The narcotics officers reportedly went to the president’s home village to arrest one Buba Manneh, who they suspected of being in possession of cannabis.
According to impeccable security sources, Buba was arrested a few months ago for being in possession of 600grams of cannabis and charged. He was fined D50, 000.
In April 2020, one Abdoulie Baldeh, 30, was also arrested in Mankamang Kunda with two bundles of cannabis.
A senior narcotics officer in Basse, who was part of Monday’s operation and spoke to The Standard on the basis of anonymity, said: “All these days we were receiving information that Buba Manneh is in possession of cannabis but we could not go there because the president was there. We didn’t want to go there and cause embarrassment to the president.”
But he said one of their officers was sent there to monitor the situation in and around the suspect’s house.
“It was when the president left for the Kombos that we decided to go there on Monday and upon arrival, we were led to the suspect’s compound by the same officer who was there to monitor his movements. When we entered the compound, we found two people; the suspect Buba and another man in the house preparing cannabis but the moment he knew we were around, Buba threw the cannabis behind his house. The other guy managed to escape but we arrested Buba. But we could not take him because some villagers obstructed us.”
“The moment we attempted to search the suspect’s house, a serious confrontation ensued after the suspect appealed to the residents in Fula language not to allow our officers to search his house because if they do, they will find cannabis which could put him in trouble.
So some of the residents who were there obstructed us and told us to stop arresting people in the village. They started telling us why we didn’t try to arrest people in Kanilai during Yahya Jammeh’s time. They said they will not allow us to arrest anybody in the village again,” the narcotics officer told The Standard.
“But what was strange is that even when we approached the PIU officers there to assist us, they took no interest and even told us that we didn’t inform them when we were coming,” he said.
When contacted for comments, the DLEAG spokesperson, Lamin Saidybah, said: “I can confirm that the operation took place and our officers were obstructed. Our officers are currently working on their report and when they are done, I will update the media in due course. But I can assure you that we will not relent on our job to ensure that we bring culprits to book.”