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Police explain mass arrest of youths in raid

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By Aisha Tamba & Fatou Saho

For the first time since the mass arrest of 23 youths in a recent operation, the police have explained how the youths who have already been charged in court were apprehended.

Most of the youths, who were charged with idle and disorderly behavior causing common nuisance, had denied the charges claiming that they were on their lawful businesses when police caught them.

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But testifying before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang, Sub Inspector Makau Bah of the PIU, said the youths were arrested in early August, in an operation which identified certain places as hideouts for criminals, among them the ‘black market’ in Serekunda, Brikama Garage in Serekunda, Coastal Road Junction and Brusubi Garage around Turntable.

He told the court that there have been numerous reports about the prevalence of crimes around those spots. 

“On the day of the operation, we were divided into two teams and dispatched to monitor these areas while we stayed in constant communication with the patrol team,” he said.

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Bah said on arrival at the black market, the officers were able to arrest the accused persons and took them to the PIU for questioning. “They were recorded and screened, some of them sent to the anti-crime unit,” he said.

During the cross-examination, the lawyer for the accused persons asked Inspector Bah how they identified the accused persons in a public place of 100 people.

“It was easy because the officers used constant surveillance methods to identify and through information gathered,” he replied.

The matter has been adjourned to 4 September.

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