By Alagie Manneh
The managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority, Ousman Jobarteh, has called for greater alertness following the discovery of nearly three tons of cocaine in a salt shipment from Ecuador at the port.
The discovery, which shocked and outraged Gambians, was said to be the largest ever seizure in the country, and serves as another indication that drug trafficking in West Africa has reached epidemic proportions.
Reacting for the first time since the bust Friday by DLEAG agents, MD Jobarteh credited the detection systems in place at the ports for the bust but called for greater watchfulness.
“It calls for more vigilance, especially on the part of all stakeholders. It’s a sign that we need to step up and be more vigilant in our detection systems. It also calls for collective stakeholder approach because we are in this business together,” he said.
He added the port’s business thrives when there is confidence and security.
“Those are essential parts of that confidence building,” a philosophical Jobarteh said, adding that a security review is more than welcomed any time there is a lapse [at the GPA]. “It strikes confidence and where there is confidence, there is security,” Jobarteh said.