By Tabora Bojang
A joint security task-force have arrested at least close to a dozen mobile phone dealers at the infamous and notorious Black Market Tuesday.
The task-force swept the ground and top floors of the unlawful enterprise located in the heart of Serrekunda Market for alleged illegal transactions.
The market is widely known for its notoriety, with illicit dealings and transactions the order of the day.
Many people who visit the place are either thieves, or illegal dealers.
But a group of young people told The Standard they were brutally arrested and taken to court in Kanifing, as police placed fines on them.
Others claimed they were asked to pay at least D700.
Pa Dem was part of those arrested.
He told The Standard how a police officer pretended to be a buyer, before arresting him.
“He came to me asking if I have any mobile to sell and I replied yes, then he took my phones, before explaining it is illegal for me to do such a thing.
A mobile dealer who begged for anonymity enunciated similar remarks.
Saul Mbaye, also a dealer, said this is not the first time the task-force stormed the market.
“Some of these phones we sell, are sometimes given to us by these officers themselves,” he claimed.
He rejected the notion that only thieves gathered at the Black Market, saying they only come every day in hopes to make ends meet.
“How can anyone hold in your hand a stolen property for 24hrs selling it publicly without any fear,” he asked.
Commenting on the development, police PRO Foday Conta said the arrests were done in accordance with the laws of the land.
He added his department received on a daily basis lots of complaints about these ‘criminals.’
“In other to regulate and maintain peace around that area, we deploy men to arrest suspected criminals and those who roam about the market without having any business or businesses to do.”
He confirmed that at least 20 were arrested and charged and were found guilty.
“They were asked to pay an amount to the court at KMC,” the PRO said.
He warned they will remain vigilant, “not only in Serrekunda but the entire country in order to make sure the country is free from crime and thieves.