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Friday, September 17, 2021

Not law enforcement alone, strong justice system needed to curb drug trafficking

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Thumbs went up early this month for the country’s anti-narcotics agency when it intercepted cocaine with a street value of D3 billion.

The seizure of the 3.9 tons of the drugs has never been preceded by any in the history of the Gambia Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.

No wonder, the feelings of satisfaction, gallantry, fulfillment, relevance, among other sentiments, permeated the atmosphere at the ports that day when the labyrinth of the route and quantity of the cocaine were being detailed to the media.

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But as the men returned to the trenches to reinforce their positions, buoyed by the recent breakthrough, the director of the drugs control agency went to the GRTS on Tuesday to insinuate that the Laura Food Company cocaine case could take some more time before it’s finally brought to the courts, if it should at all.

He was referring to the legal advice from the justice ministry last year about the insufficiency of facts to kick-start prosecution.

A bit of a refreshment of minds, 48 pellets of cocaine was in 2019 found concealed in a sugar shipment as it was being off-loaded by labourers at a warehouse on Picton Street. The sugar was being imported into the country by the Laura Food Company but the State is still unable to make any remarkable progress in the probe as well as possible prosecution of the matter two years on.

Drug trafficking is one of the crimes blighting Africa’s development but weak judicial systems, corruption, capacity constraints are, undeniably, fodders for the vice.

This all points to the fact that we need a strong justice system to assist law enforcement in order to fight transnational drug trafficking which is creeping into the country. 

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