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POLICE SAY MOST CRIMES COMMITTED BY FOREIGNERS

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By Omar Bah

Commissioner Pateh Bah, head of the Regional Crime Office for Kanifing Municipality, has said police statistics indicate that a substantial number of crimes in The Gambia were committed by foreign nationals.

Addressing journalists at a press briefing called by West Coast Regional Police Commissioner Pateh Jallow yesterday, Commissioner Bah said he did not intend to appear discriminatory or xenophobic but records showed that “most of these incidents involved foreigners and not Gambians”, adding, “probably, most of these crimes are imported, or the ideas are imported”.

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The press briefing was held in the wake of a shooting by an armed robber in Fajara and the murder of a British expatriate woman in Madina Alhagie Gayo.

Commenting on the murder of Shaikna Chinedu, the head of the Regional Crime Office for West Coast, Commissioner Boto Keita, said the police have arrested a Sierra Leonean national in connection with the murder.

He said the British woman was resident in Brusubi and was reported missing on Wednesday, 14 February 2024.

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“When the matter was reported, the police swiftly started an investigation, and a suspect was apprehended who helped the police in their investigation and later admitted to killing the British woman. He led the police to recover the properties that he stole after murdering the woman. The police also went back with him to the crime scene, where the deceased had started construction on a new site at Madina Alhagie, a village located between Kunkujang Mariama and Mamuda. That is where she was murdered by the suspect, Augustine Bangura, a Sierra Leonean national,” he said.

Commissioner Keita added that the suspect dragged the deceased and dumped her in an incomplete soak-away, collected some cash, and went back to her house and took more cash and two laptops.

“He was found with a pistol, and investigations are ongoing to determine how he got the pistol. Also, during the course of the investigation, the keys to the house of the deceased were recovered from the suspect; he had kept them in his residence at Bakoteh. We also recovered the items that were stolen from the victim and the hammer he used to kill the deceased,” he said.

He said the suspect is in police custody, and he will be taken to court soon.

Fajara shooting

Regarding the shooting incident at Fajara, Commissioner Pateh Bah said it happened on Thursday between 10 and 11am along Bakau New Town Road, not far from Timbooktoo Bookshop.

“When we got the report, we quickly responded and visited the scene, unfortunately, we could not find the assailants. The victim, Ali Sidi, a Guinea-Bissau national and businessman residing in Fajara, informed us that he was attacked, but the person didn’t succeed, and there was a bitter struggle between them, and that when the suspect fled the scene and joined his counterpart in the vehicle, people tried to chase them, but they escaped,” he said.

He said, luckily for the police, the number plate of the BMW used by the suspects was identified by the people at the scene.

“When we got the number, we mounted an investigation, and I realised it was parked at a mechanic garage in Kololi. The owner of the garage was invited, and he admitted that the vehicle belongs to him and is from his garage, and he was the one who lent it to one of his friends, who is one of the suspects in this case, Seedy Gaye. We continued our investigation and arrested Seedy Gaye in Bijilo and brought him to the office, and he helped us arrest his colleague, who is a Sierra Leonean national living in Dalaba Estate,” he said.

He said both suspects admitted to committing the crime. Commissioner Bah said the suspects had even gone to survey the house before the operation.

“They suspected that Sidi Ali had money, and they wanted to rob him,” he said. He said the first suspect admitted that he owned the pistol, but when they were going for the operation, he handed it over to the second suspect.

“Following the operation, they parked the vehicle at the Aqua View Hotel, but before then, they went back to the garage and changed the number plate and replaced it with another one,” he said.

He said all the materials involved in the case have been recovered, and the victim is recovering from body pain. He said the suspects have been charged with conspiracy, going armed in public, and being in possession of a firearm without authority, and they will be arraigned.

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